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Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Candlelight Vigil

Yesterday night, I got the news that the permit for our candelight vigil has been revoked. It was not a surprise. You can expect anything to happen if you're dealing with Egypt's tremendous bureaucracy. Since we didn't manage to get the permit, I decided not to go. I really wanted to do it the right way and not get in trouble with the police like what happened last Sunday.

I got a phone call from Sandmonkey today evening informing me that some people whom I don't know decided to go ahead and hold the vigil even without the permit. He asked me if I would like to pass by the Azhar Park just to see what those guys managed to do, if they in fact did anything.

We got in a cab and went straight to Azhar Park. When we approached the park, we were welcomed by a throng of policemen, security soldiers, and 4 huge riots police trucks. The atmosphere was tensed. We didn't stop and ordered the cab driver to take us back to where he picked us from.

Why did our permit get revoked? Why did the police send such a huge number of security soldiers to an anti-terror demonstration? I believe the answer lies in the phobia that our government has towards any sort of demonstration even if it was a protest denouncing Osama Bin Laden. They hate assemblies, period. May be the police was afraid lest our protest turn into an anti-government or an anti-Mubarak demonstration or something. They just don't want the hassle.

It is sad that terrorists are murdering innocents around the world yet we, a group of normal young Egyptians, cannot have the chance to tell the terrorists "NO"

I'll keep you posted if I got any news about those who went ahead and had the vigil today.

Anyway, since I couldn't go today, I might just hold the candle right now:


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