Monday, February 23, 2009

The Cairo Blast

First of all, I was nowhere near the blast.  Everything I know comes from what I've been able to glean from the BBC and Al-Jazeera, so I'm not going to pretend to have any additional information that cannot be obtained from the media.  The available information is scant.

A bunch of us were out in another part of Cairo, also very popular with tourists, when one of us got a text from someone in London saying "heard about what happened, hope you're all okay."  It was the first we'd heard of anything happening.  After ascertaining what had happened with several more text messages, what surprised me the most was how blasé everyone seemed to be.  We noticed absolutely no increased security presence in the city, despite the fact that we were in an area densely populated with embassies, and we were sitting in a restaurant packed with tourists. For our part, aside from briefly exchanging theories about what had happened, who had perpetrated it and why, it was just another dinner out with friends.  Is this a function of growing up in the Mideast my whole life?  Was it because, in the grand scheme of things - between Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan... - this seemed minor (though this will come as no consolation to the victims and their families).  How desensitised are we becoming to these things?

Most information we have so far:


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