The stewardess is informing us that we will arrive in 10 minutes and to fasten our seat belts. I look excited out of the window to see from above how this big metropolis appears under my eyes, but I can´t get a clear sight of it. No, it´s not the actual political situation of the Arab Republic of Egypt after the revolution beginning in 2011 and still ongoing, which caused a great stir in this never-ending big city of Cairo, but a soft sandstorm which let us discover the sun as a weak shining point in the sky.
Outside the airport we enter a Taxi to bring us to the centre of Cairo, close to Tahir Square, where 846 people during the “Arab Spring” died and more than 2000 have been injured, to meet our friend to bring our stuff to his home. During our ride in the taxi, enjoying to feed my brain with pictures of a new and typical arab city, i recognised that Cairo is not so rich as i read in many articles about the economic situation in this country during my researches in the internet. As in many other countries egyptian politicians don´t run state finances responsibly and equitable distribution of state income is undermined by flourishing corruption. The last elections brought an atypical result for a democratic country. Impressed by worldwide broadcasted videos of encouraged people fighting for their freedom in the Tahir Square, many westeuropean countries could not understand that mostly religious, the Muslim Brotherhood with about 50% or radical islamic parties as the Salafists with about 25% won the elections. Noticing the poor periphery outside of cairo, i can understand that many egyptians are not really satisfied with their daily lives wishing back the “Iron Fist” policy of Ex-President Hosni Mubarak. The situation is stabile, underlines our friend, but the land is still in chaos. In Sinai, where we have to pass to reach Gaza, beduines are robbing and hijacking people, trying to exchange them for lost territory and influence or imprisoned relatives in this region. The place around the Parliament is full of militaries and soldiers, guarding checkpoints built up with big stones and spiny fences. In the middle of the Tahir Square are still tents which are standing there since the first day of the revolution. All these observations seem to give us the right to assume that the country is not ready for a modern democratic country with hopefully respected human rights, but at the same time asocial capitalistic-lead policy.
The buildings in the periphery don´t look like the one i usually see in Europe. Patterning the mostly brown small skyscrapers and the burning stinky rubbish in the outlying streets of cairo, we finally arrive at the meeting point of our friend to take the metro. In Cairo it is better to watch out when you cross streets or walk in crowded places. There are no rules, but it seems to work as well as in other, often north european countries, where passengers are shouting to call the police if you don´t respect the traffic lights. However in the mostly overcrowded metro, some passengers gave us their seats, speaking very friendly english and showing social and welcoming gestures.
Before i go to sleep i think much about Vittorio Arrigoni associated with the gains at the last elections the Salafists made and which are raising up in me a sort of rage. Vittorio, an activist who never felt fear to escort repressed people, to document it and inform the whole world what is going on in forgotten and ignored regions on this earth, in regions, which never had a voice to tell the truth, didn´t diserve to loose his life. Vittorio, my namesake, we will keep you and your wonderful social heart in our minds. I have to realize that my anger for the Salafists will not change anything, but i want, as you and many other activists did and do still, to continue to inform and sensibilize the world for social problems.
still stay human