Arab Spring, April 2011

The bridge cleaned up.   April 15, 2011,  Cairo, Egypt I got into the cab in Cairo and was shocked; the driver was wearing a seatbelt.  I hadn’t seen this before.  I put mine on.  He smiled and said “New Egypt.”  New Egypt is being stuck in a traffic jam near Tahrir Square and seeing a citizen in a white t shirt step forward, waving a cigarette like a baton, directing traffic.  People are taking responsibility.  One friend said “They used to own Egypt, now we do.  We have to take care of it.”  Or as another said “Before we … Continue reading Arab Spring, April 2011

Arab Spring, Feb 11, Mubarak Steps Down

On February 11, Hosni Mubarak stepped down as President of Egypt.  Suzi and I were in Doha, Qatar that night and went out on the streets as soon as we heard he had left power.  We were watching the events on Al Jazeera in our hotel room.  I looked out the window and across the bay I saw what looked, to me, like a large number of cars for that time of night.  We could hear a lot of honking so we set out from the hotel on foot to see what was happening.  Doha is a strange place.  To … Continue reading Arab Spring, Feb 11, Mubarak Steps Down

Arab Spring, January 2011, Suzi’s Story

Suzi’s McClear was Chief of Party for USAID’s  Media Development Program in Egypt.  Tuesday, January 25 was a state holiday, Police Day.  That day a group of demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square protesting the government.  It was a large demonstration but many people thought not much would come of it.  The local press tried to ignore it but Suzi got an email from our son, Kevin, who said that international media said Cairo looked like a war zone.  From her perspective it was a quiet day. Two days later, Friday, prayer day, a traditional day for protests,  social media activists … Continue reading Arab Spring, January 2011, Suzi’s Story

Arab Spring, April 6, 2008, A blogging course.

April 8, 2008, Cairo, Egypt Dear Friends, For the past several months we’ve been trying to pull off the first ever course on blogging in Egypt.   There is a lot of concern because bloggers have been the ones who exposed police brutality, sexual harassment and bloggers have given people a voice that is denied in state controlled press.  The news moves forward on blogs.  At the end of Ramadan two years ago several women reported being groped in public, the police denied it so some women bloggers took their cell phones and photographed the groping.  The story was picked up … Continue reading Arab Spring, April 6, 2008, A blogging course.