Sorry, last diary for me. I promise. I just wanted to express something. Now, I dunno how many people actually have gotten to travel to the Middleast? Maybe quite a few of you. But once you see how it is there... you have sympathy... even for terrorists. At least I do. I don't condone killing innocents by any means. It's just that when you see what conditions are like in places like Cairo, when you understand that these folk have friends and relatives dying all around them... it puts it in a different light... to see it up front. People can only take so much... and quite frankly, living how I do... I can't even begin to imagine what it would have been like to have been born a poor kid in central Cairo... Jesus.
I wish every American kid could get to travel like that. Just to put on the Global Citizen shoes in a place like Cairo for a week or two is worth it's weight in gold as far as I'm concerned.
I've been lucky to have traveled as a kid to Cairo and Alexandria and then the typical tourist Nile boat voyage down to Aswan. I think back and remember that the year I was there was just following a big incident when a boatfull of tourists had been shot from the shoreline by "terrorists." 80 people died in Cairo today. 80 white people... or rich people I guess. I suppose lots more than 80 people die in Cairo every day... lots more.
I remember a dustobowl. Everything was coated in dust and sand. Suddenly the robes and head covers made a whole hell of a lot of sense.... duhhhh, smack to my forhead. I remember the morning prayer calls of course. 5? 6 am? I remember staying at an "Americanized hotel" with guards and machine guns at the street entrance.
I remember the City of the Dead. I remember seeing the tents and the shadows moving. I remember coincidentally driving by it one last time on my way to the airport at night... so quiet.
The City of the Dead is a cemetery. It's huge... at the scale of Central Park... and it's smack dab in the middle of Cairo. People live there. The homeless... street kids. You see temporary shelters attached to graves. It's very quiet.
So why do they hate us? Is it because we go on vacation and take pictures of the City of the Dead? Probly. Is it because we're so rich and they're so poor? Is it because some of their madrassas brainwash them?
I tend to think we're overlooking the obvious in the fight against Terrorism: The stone in our own eye that is... the one blocking the woods for the trees... ie we gotta give up our IPods and send these folks some cash.
p.s. check the irony of life in some circles (the volleyball girl above) and the picture in this diary... not a pleasant juxtaposition.