|Sunset over Cairo|
29 January 2011
I have very mixed feeling about what is happening in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen right now. On the one hand I am afraid of what might become of these countries, better the devil you know, than the devil you don't. What many people in the West fail to understand about Arabic nations is that they have never had a democracy. They are all Fiefdoms of one sort or another and have always been so. It has taken us in Europe over 400 years to arrive at the democracies we have. For us to impose democracy on the Arabs in the case of Iraq is wrong. So on the other hand I am now hopeful that as it would seem the democratisation of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen is coming from within, it may work.
I spent time in Yemen and Egypt on the way through the Red Sea during my circumnavigation. So have first hand knowledge of these countries.
On the first occasion I was in Egypt I got stuck in Port Tawfiq, Suez with a broken gear box and ended up staying 4 months there, before I was able to continue. After my experiences I just had to learn the language, which Hanna and I did by going to a language school in Cairo three times.
Each time it was an adventure par excellence. The school was in the northern part of the city and we had a flat on the 14 floor with two balconies which gave us great views in two different directions.
This is one looking north.