Hal Higdon and his wife Rose will be traveling through Egypt and Israel from March 7 through March 27. In addition to our regular Tuesday Q&A postings, we will be hosting Hal's updates from his travels on this blog, under the tag "Egypt".
Departing from our hotel in Cairo we shared an elevator with several people, one a young man talking into his cell phone. When we reached the ground level, he rushed first off the elevator, leaving Rose to depart second. Had I detreched a small cultural difference between our two countries? In the United States, an American would probably defer to the woman, politely allowing her first exit.
But does this make any difference in a nation where the main question is, will the military continue to conttrol Egypt even after the demise of Mubarak, or can the people continue to maintain the momentum of the events that followed January 25?
This in a country where 54% of the college graduates are now female, 80% of them entering the work force with different hopes and aspirations than those held by their mothers and grandmothers. During our last days in Egypt, we met a woman, a Carleton graduate, who had lived and worked in Cairo for two decades. She talked abouty her hopes and her aspirations for her adopted country. But during her talk, one of our fellow tour members asked a pointed and political question. I have forgotten her answer--or don't want to reveal it--but she looked over her shoulder to the right, then looked over her shoulder to the left, then said cautiously, "I am not free to comment on certain subjects."
Egypt will be free only when people like her are free to talk.
Thank you for following my Egypt blog. I am in Jerusalem now on the final leg of our journey. I'll look forward to communicating with you all after we return to the US next week. Thanks to Gloria Liu of TrainingPeaks and our daughter-in-law Camille Higdon for helping with Egypt 2012.