Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Uprising: Dignity and Courage Before It Turns

I remember fuul -- fava bean stew and falafel at Felfela, an oasis of calm in Cairo. I drank Karkaday, flaming red hibiscus tea sometimes called Agua de Jamaica in Mexico, and bought some to take home. I went to the Valley of the Kings, Edfu, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan. I sat and savored peppermint tea, once in the blazing summer, once in spring, and once in winter. Three times I visited in a 15 years span. Egypt was no paradise; the touts and hustlers are as conspicuous as the tourist, I suppose. One can hardly meet any of the millions who do what they are supposed to every day, never asking for anything. Travel in Egypt was difficult. But I recall the haunting tears of a gentle guide expressing love at the Muhammad Ali Mosque, his eyes fighting to remain clear. I became touched. I felt something. I should have learned something, but I was unprepared.

It is not for me to claim to be an arbiter. Three times there, but I did not really care for Egypt. Yet now I mysteriously feel something of the great desperation that those on the street in Egypt harbor. It is not guilt or shame. Though nobody wants it, it is sympathy. This is all I am capable of.

A few pictures are worth a thousand words, and a few songs worth a moment’s thought.

Get Up Stand Up: Bob Marley and the Wailers
Risin’ to the Top: Keni Burke: Keni Burke- "Risin´ To The Top" With Lyrics
Stand Down Margaret: The Specials
Courage: The Whitest Boy Alive
Sweet Day: Tokimonsta: Tokimonsta - Sweet Day
Time To Get Ill: Beastie Boys
A Very Precious Time: Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson
Time is Running Out: Doug Carn
Time For a Change: The Eight Minutes
When It’s Your Time to Go: Billy Paul
Never Can Say Goodbye: Isaac Hayes
If You’re Gonna Leave: Raul Midon
Before I Let you Go: Blackstreet
You Know I’m No Good: Amy Winehouse
Every Goodbye: Eddie Roberts: Play song from MySpace Music
Time to Say Goodbye: Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brighton
Last Goodbye: Jeff Buckley
Get Gone: Ideal

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