Local couple watches as Egypt erupts

January 28, 2011 8:52:48 PM PST
As images protestors in Cairo flashed across her television screen, Manar Darwish felt it was hitting too close to home.

An Egyptian who grew up in Cairo, Darwish has lived in Bala Cynwyd for 25 years. Still, her thoughts were with family members still living in Egypt.

"I'll definitely try to continue to call them everyday if I can, and I hope the phone lines will continue to be in use," Darwish said.

Darwish and her husband, Khalid, spent much of Friday night pouring through old photos of Egypt's timeless geography and wondering what its future might hold.

As for the unrest that threatens it, she blames the recent past.

"It's been, what's the expression, boiling under the surface," she said.

Dawish says its been boiling since 1981, when she was a freshman in college and Hosni Mubarak became president. Since then, Egypt has devolved into a country with two classes: those who can afford nothing (most of the population) and those who for whom nothing is out of reach.

Those people, she said, are politically connected.

"People have been unhappy and uneasy but they didn't know what to do about it," said Darwish.

Now emboldened by recent and successful uprisings in Tunisia, a generation of young Egyptians feels they do know what to do about it. As of Friday night, Mubarak has refused to comply with their demands he step aside.

Whether Mubarak relinquishes power or not, Khalid said that a change is going to come.

"The cat is out of the bag and it can never be put back in. Nothing will be the same," he said.

While change may be coming, few know what it will look like, and if it will be any better.