Rest in Peace
Egypt isn’t in a good place right now. They appear to be on the brink of civil war. Watching the developments, violence and killings in Egypt, I can’t help but think about my time in Egypt. I spent a year living in Cairo working on my Master’s degree and teaching young Egyptians at an international school. I left in the summer of 2010, six months before revolution ousted Muburak. During my time there, I witnessed a scene that I cannot seem to shake.
At the end of a dusty, spring school day, I crawled onto the noisy bus back to my apartment. I tried to drown out rowdy students and homesickness with podcasts from the states. The bus came to slow creep as we hit a pocket of heavy traffic. The congestion wasn’t unusual, but the crowd of people gathered in the middle of the highway was.
The bus lurched to a stop. Outside my window, I could finally see that the crowd was standing around a young man. He lay on the ground, motionless, as people covered him with dirty newspaper. I saw the blood draining from his lifeless body and watched as yesterday’s newspaper soaked up thick, red liquid as my bus continued on.
I couldn’t look any more. As the bus picked up speed, I lay back in my seat as my stomach turned to knots. I felt light-headed. My heart raced. I wanted to throw up.
I am sure this young man had crossed the highway many times before. I still wonder if he worked on one of the nearby luxury apartment buildings. I wonder what his name was. I wonder if the people gathered around knew him or his family. Did he have a family? What was his age? Did he have plans later that day?
I still think about him three years later, and I wonder these same questions about the hundreds of Egyptians who are dying every day.