‘There are no lights. People are standing in clusters, arguing, shouting. Abu Muhab holds my arm, steadies me: it’s dark and hot and the ground is treacherous. Judge Baroudi appears and begs everyone to understand the importance of unity, of working together. They listen then resume arguing. Strong voices argue for suspending. Strong voices retort that the closure of the Midan is the only card they have. I think people don’t want to go home and pretend their lives are normal when their kids are dead. They need to remain in an ‘exceptional’ state. A woman faints. A young man on crutches tells me he’s one of the ‘injured’. He says they’re offering him 10,00 pounds. And what happens to me when they’re finished? he asks. I don’t want money. I want a job. Abu Muhab gives me a folded sheet of paper. It’s the draft announcement. Rejected. I phone the TV crews; we don’t have an agreement.’
– Extract from Cairo: My City, Our Revolution by Ahdaf Soueif
In an odd twist of fate I both left my copy of War and Peace at home yesterday and bought a new book without realizing my latter oversight. Thankfully this gave me the opportunity to dig right in and although I am quite enjoying Tolstoy’s epic taking a break from it, especially with a non-fiction work makes me feel a little relieved. Although as I am already half way through, I anticipate finishing this by the end of day.