Published: June 25th 2012June 25th 2012
Last night the streets were filled with thousands and thousands of Egyptians, all of whom came out to celebrate (at least where I was) the first free election of the new president, Mursi. The word is that Mursi is not of a military background, but is instead a doctor, a thought which brings hope to some, though his tight ties with *corrected information inserted here* Muslim Brotherhood worry others. I've been trying to make sense of it all from first person, that's why I've been somewhat confused, so read here: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/24/world/africa/muslim-brotherhood-explained/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
You should have seen it, it was the biggest party I have ever seen in my life. Women in full burkas and women without, flags waving everywhere, just joy - it was an amazing site to see and to be driven through as we worked our way to the airport.
When speaking with the driver, I said things are kind of crazy right now to which he responded, "Crazy, crazy beautiful, this is a good thing for the people". I can't say it any better than that.
On I went to catch the overnight train to Aswan, which is in upper Egypt (Up is down here in Egypt, all is in reference to the Nile, which begins south of here in Rwanda I think, it is backwards!). 433 miles as the crow flies and 13 hours in a train. That's 33 miles an hour, that's a long freaking time!
We (I'm at random paired with other travelers) first went up and saw the big Aswan dam, a fierce, tall thing aimed at controlling the Nile; protecting residents (who werent' forcibly removed by the buiding of the dam) and providing a huge amount of power for Egypt or neighboring countries. Very interesting.
Then on to Phylas Temple. Way cool temple on an island that once signified the end of Egypt and the beginning of the Nubian kingdom. The entire complex was removed from its original site because of the creation of the dam, then rebuildt on the new site. In addition to the hieroglyphics, there is really awesome graffiti to be found dating from Romans, Christians and everybody's favorite, Napoleon (brush up on your french before coming!).
Oh did I mention that there is a definite difference in the make up of locals as you head south? You switch from an Arabic population to one that we may more often think of African. My guide in Cairo (who's freaking awesome by the way) said they have a saying for the Nubians, "Black skin, white (kind) heart)".
Pics later, I've got some kind of noodly, kosher Egyptian food here in my hands that needs to "get in my belly!" (austin powers voices people!)