This post is a little longer than my usual posts, and I have posted no pictures because frankly, I'm tired of the images of the demonstrations, and there are plenty of other places to find pictures if you want to see them.)
Wow! I don't think I have ever experienced a week filled with such a range of emotions. It all started more than a week ago really. We started hearing about a "calling" for Egyptians to gather in Tahrir square on Tuesday, January 25th to hold a peaceful demonstration calling for the resignation of Egypt's president.
Tuesday, January 25th: We decided we should cancel school, after all, it was a national holiday called "Police Day", and all other schools would be out and even most businesses would be closed. So, my first emotion of the week was "happiness" at the thought of having a day off from school, after all, we don't get snow days.
Wednesday, January 26th: Wednesday started out pretty typically. Awoke early, got ready, and went to school. Everyone figured it would be a normal day, but around noon to 1 PM our principal got a call saying the demonstrations were starting up again, and it was rumored some would take place in the suburb where our school is. So, again, a little happiness, but this time with some dread at the thought of what might be starting to take place.
Thursday, January 27th: Nothing extra-ordinary happened this day. The demonstrations grew, but they were still peaceful. I was again happy and content to have a full day off from school. Plus, Thursdays are the last day of our school week here due to Fridays being the Islamic holy day, so this meant a long weekend.
Friday, January 28th: This day also started pretty typically, but we had heard that a lot more people were planning on joining the demonstrations after the Friday prayers. So some concern began to creep in. We were all advised to be in our homes starting around 1 PM. The demonstrations still started off pretty peaceful, but this was the night things started changing. As most of the world knows, there was quite a fight between the police and the protesters. I have to say it was at this point my emotions were starting to take a nose dive.
Saturday, January 29th: I awoke with anticipation to find out what had happened the night before. I'm an early-to-bed kind of person, and I could not stay awake long enough to hear President Mubarak address the nation. We had to drive across town to pick up our kids that morning. They had gone to a different part of town to watch a friend in a school play, which was cancelled because of the 6 o'clock curfew which had been instituted. They ended up having to spend the night with friends because of this curfew. It was eerily quiet that morning. There were people out, but one thing was missing: the police. That was a strange feeling. Usually there was police officers everywhere. On our way home, after picking up our kids, we actually passed a department store that was being looted by what looked like hundreds of looters. Later that evening, we were called and told to beware of looters that were now breaking into homes. My emotion then went to being terrified. Even though I was still scared, I later was relieved to hear that most of the men were taking to the streets to form a kind of "neighborhood watch". At that moment, I was very "proud" of the Egyptian people that were taking a stand to do what was right. A lot of these so-called looters were caught by these normal men of Egypt and turned over to the military.
Sunday-Tuesday, Jan.30-Feb. 1: Things grew more peaceful on these days. People were still panicking though. There had been a run on the grocery stores and shelves were clearing fast. We were doing ok though. We had stocked up on groceries and gas earlier in the week, so we just stayed home and enjoyed a few quiet days.
Wednesday, February 2: And that brings us to today (our first day with internet in several days). It started off as a beautiful day. For the first time in about a week, Tim and I headed into the area where our school is. Imagine our surprise when we saw lots of traffic and what looked almost like "business as usual". So different from the little suburb we live in. Store shelves were stocked and people were out everywhere. One thing we noticed was how happy the Egyptian people seemed. Once again, my emotions were heading for the mountain tops. But, things, and sometimes emotions, change quickly. If you have seen today's news, you know the tragedy that has taken over this once peaceful demonstration. The so-called Mubarak supporters have changed the whole atmosphere here. In just this one day my emotions have gone from the mountain tops down to the low-low valley. I am so sad and sickened at what is going on.
I don't know what is in store for the people of Egypt for tomorrow, for the next week, months or even years, but there is one thing I do know, and that is that God is still in control. Our God is bigger than any situation, and I would like to ask my readers all to pray for the situation here. There are many, many lovely people here who we have come to love. Please pray that God will take this situation and turn it around and use it to glorify Him.