So…here we are… a few hours before Obama's historic visit to Cairo, and I am one of the few Egyptians who has got an invite to see him, and.. ehhh… I am not that excited.I mean, I will go see him, but I can't say that I am enthused about it. Maybe because I know that, despite of the gesture and its importance, it's simply words, and it signals the return of a US foriegn policy that does coddle dictators and extreemists. Nahh, that can't be it, because I never expected it to be any different. A return to good diplomatic relations with the US biggest sunni arab ally does mean turning the blind eye to some…small violations of human rights. I get that. It makes sense. and Part of me does want my country to have good relations with the US again. So, nahh.. not it.
And the thing is, it's hard to decide what is it that bothers me, because of the magnitude of the visit. I mean, while I thought it made perfect sense for egypt to get chosen, arabs still make like 20% of the entire muslim population, which means that it might not be the wisest location to deliver such a speech, especially in the light of extreme arab chauvinism, when it comes to nonarab muslims anyway. It's an honor, no doubt about it. And a nod towards an old and fading leader ( i am talking Egypt as the middle least leader, not Mubarak): That its support still matter, even when reality says it doesn't that much anymore.
I guess I am annoyed because of the ruckus the government is causing over his visit. The entire country is on high alert. Cairo is on lockdown. The streets are cleaned and repainted, the cars removed from all main streets, whether he will pass by it or won't. Helicopters flying over downtown every 4 minutes. The old buildings in el saydah are being coverd by scaffolding to hide them from Obama's sight. People are arrested left and right all over the city. Kefaya
activists were cracked down on in a matter of minutes when they tried to stage
an Obama protest. Residents are warned to stay home. The streets are expected to be so clear of people, the joke is that the 6 of April kids will call for another national strike and call the day a success. Employers are giving
employees vacations. Al Gezira club members warned not to go to almost 70 % of
the club that day, because this is where Obama will change between his speech
suit, and the shorts he is bound to wear on his way to the pyramids (it’s
fuckin hot, man). People in manial that we know had to give state secuirty their names and their IDS because their house sees that University Bridge. Coffe shops in downtown closed from 6 pm tonight, and the people told to stay home tomorrow. Oh yeah, and the polishing they have done to the University. Holy Crap. That dome now shines from cleanliness, and it was last cleaned in 1954. It's fuckin ridiculous shit.
But on the other hand, the people are excitied. I saw people interviwed on the street on TV, and they are genuinely excited to see Obama speak. Many talking about how he will bring peace and prosperity with him. The most apathethic people on earth are actually excited about the visit of a US president. This is some unusual shit. At the very least, it's definitely worth a glance. So maybe I should get over my disdain over the fact that I will have to wear formal wear on a freakin hot day, which is really the reason i am pissy about going of you really want the truth. I wanted to wear a polo shirt or something, but everyone else is bringing their nice cloths to play, and I was planning on going in jeans anda shirt. Grrr…
So, yeah, fine, I admit it, maybe it is exciting to have him visit after all. Await tomorrow's post about it.