From Mideast to Midwest

We are back in the States now: on vacation in Wisconsin. A tasteful “Recall Walker” sign adorns my in-laws’ house in Madison. The kids are fine, riding a scooter up and down the sidewalk. (Sidewalk!) Jet lag; culture shock.
This blog will now stop attempting to respond to the day-to-day flow of events in Egypt. I will probably take a short break and then come back with several “feature” type stories or straight travelogue pieces that got started in Cairo but got pre-empted by the rush of political developments. (I gave up daily newspaper reporting 16 years ago but my mom once described me, very much in the AA sense, as a “recovering journalist.”) Haven’t decided what to do after that, once the semester begins.
But you don’t really need me. Unlike when I started learning Arabic 14 years ago (and that was the main reason why I started), there are now SO many articulate English-language voices commenting on developments all over the region. You can begin here for this week, if you haven’t already: Ahdaf Soueif’s reflection on the military’s brutalization of female demonstrators, and Mahmoud Salem/Sandmonkey’s astonishing piece breaking his silence about Islamist parties, parliamentary elections, the revolution’s mistakes, and more. The New York Times’ coverage has also been surprisingly good, for the most part: so, bravo to David Kirkpatrick (I don’t know him personally) and his stringers and fixers.
Backlogged ordinary street scenes coming soon. Take care of yourselves meanwhile.

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