Archive for the ‘Protests in Egypt’ Category

In life, there are two types of spectators: those who watch from afar and those who watch up close.  You may be tempted to believe that those who watch from afar are those who are geographically far from the game, the fight or the show of affection while those who watch up close are physically present at the event.

This isn’t true.

Those who watch with their eyes, whether at the event or at home on their TV screen, watch from afar.  Those who watch with their hearts, watch up close.

I’ve made this observation as the large-scale demonstrations have begun to unfold in Egypt.

I am amazed, and I feel empathy for the people involved.  I take interest in the story as a news item and as a major story that is currently capturing the attention of the world, much like I did when the miners were trapped in Chile or when State Representative Gifford got shot.  While I am strongly interested in the situation, I am watching with my eyes.

But it’s obvious to me that there are those who watch in a different way than I do.  A blogger in Jordan that I follow, named Roba, shares her impressions of the situation in Tunisia and Egypt here.

My Egyptian students, colleagues and friends are watching with their hearts.  For those under the age of 30, I am realizing that this is the only governing system they have known.  Some are worried about how this will affect their religious freedom, in the wake the demonstrations.  Others are worried about family members and friends.  I have yet to hear any of the Egyptians around me scream for freedom or display any of the jubilant solidarity that is being reported on the news.  What I see is a sliver of fear in their eyes.  What I hear are students who are worried as they ask that we whisper a word of prayer for their country at the beginning of class.  I see some grappling with the reality that has become their country.  They watch with their hearts.

What kindof spectator are you?