|Protests in Cairo|
It was fun to see Egyptians posing in front of military tanks and taking pictures, just like we did. As we cruised the streets downtown we saw men in suits protesting in front of the Bank of Cairo. There were other demonstrations, including the police force requesting higher pay.
However, it has been reported that activists will end their protests tonight but plan to reconvene every Friday in order to maintain pressure on the military to carry through its promise of reforms. People in command said they would abide by all international agreements and keep the current government until elections are held.
Peter and I started our sightseeing of Cairo today and I must say that the area around the Nile is very beautiful, although once we ventured into the back alleys, we saw a different face of Cairo. Not that it was an ugly face, just a different one – housing that looked like slums, holes on the street and uncollected garbage. But the local coffee shops were full of men sucking on the sheesha (aka hooka or arquile) and sipping their coffee or tea. Eateries had the fuul (cooked beans) ready, to be served from the big round pots sticking out of the cafe doors. The beans were to be consumed with pita bread, falafel, fried eggplant and chips, with a small side dish of cucumber and tomatoes.
I went to the Brazilian Embassy in the morning to renew my passport. The place is barricaded by military tanks as the embassy is on the same block as the Egyptian National Television, now heavily guarded by the military. When we walked to our hotel in the afternoon, I spotted Claire, an American woman I met at Bustan Qaraaqa in Palestine, finishing an interview near Tahrir Square. She went back to the US after Palestine, and is now back in the Middle East covering the latest events in Egypt as a free lancer. Small world...
Tomorrow we will go to the Giza Pyramids for Valentines Day. We should have no problems fighting the crowds there.