It was only a year ago the world witnessed the rejoicing in the streets as Egypt celebrated its first democratically elected President. But Cairo, the Mother of the World, never bonded with the child she had birthed. The Mother has rejected her first born. Today, the world waits with suspicion and fear as tourists alter their vacation plans for safer destinations.
Even the Egyptian Museum is eerily silent. Gone are the long lines of chattering foreign voices, all the tourists have stayed away. I am alone in the room with the mummies of the ancient Pharaohs: Ramses II, Tuthmosis III, and Hatshepsut. I feel their spirits rising with the memories of this once great nation.
Outside, the blazing streets are virtually deserted. The hot air rarefied with the anticipation of the hundreds of thousands of people expected to arrive the next day for the planned protests. Only a small noisy group has gathered keeping up the drumbeat by responding forcefully to a series of passionate speakers delivering angry shouts from the stage.
So, You have figured out exactly what I am thinking as I carefully move deeper into Tahrir Square this Saturday afternoon June 29, 2013.
At first I see many families with children. But as I move closer to the stage my handsome guide suddenly becomes my bodyguard, standing tall in his tight white T-Shirt and blue jeans. Then as quickly he becomes my boyfriend as I cling onto his arm, shifting my body shamefully tight into his.
Men are starting to rage, the situation is becoming very tense. I am afraid!
Around my neck hangs a big Nikon camera, in my hand a Sony video camera. I'm shooting with both at the same time. I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea and think that I am a journalist.
Visions of the countless, nameless women who have been violently molested and raped flash before my eyes. I realize the situation could easily escalate out of control - so I leave!
I leave Egypt at 9am Sunday morning just hours before the massive crowds gather in Tahrir Sq and Nassar City.
In May, when I first booked the flight to Cairo, I had completely forgotten about the violent revolution that had recently taken place in Egypt. Like any difficult birth, I thought that the pain had been forgotten, replaced with an ecstatic love.
It was only after I told everyone I was going that they all said the same thing to me;
'Aren't you afraid? Why are you going to Cairo?'
I said 'Its a short flight to Uganda, that's why' And besides, I yelled back at them, 'I am fascinated with Egypt, Cairo especially!' I had no idea then, that my intuition must have chosen the morning of June 30th to leave Egypt.
Did you know that the source of the Nile is in Jinja, Uganda?
I did not know that fact, so I went to Jinja to see for myself. Thus metaphorically tying together why my stop over needed to be Cairo in order to get to Uganda.