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Fire in Al-Areesh

At the Ghazala
I eat Tiramisu for breakfast and drink a Nescafe Gold, with a drop of milk.
It is early afternoon, the sun is up and the Sea is exceptionally blue.

Last night, in the city of Areesh-Northern Sinai, clashes erupted between masked locals and the police. The news on the net is inconsistent in regards to the numbers of killed and injured. I get my news first hand, from my friend Al-Arabi, who comes from that city. He works here.

"Ten people were killed, and 35 injured, when members of Al-fawakhiriyah attempted to free members of their tribe held in Egyptian prisons. Al-fawakhiriyah sought help from their armed Bedouin brethren. The police abandoned their station, and the prisoners were freed" Guns were fired in the evening, celebrating the departure of a dictator and the return of loved ones."

Early this morning, another police station was attacked in Al-Areesh. This time, the police knew about the attack beforehand and fled the scene. The station was set on fire, no injuries incurred.

'We just want the police out of here," Al-Arabi tells me, as we play tawlah (backgammon, Egyptian style). "Now that the military is in control, there is nothing to fear. Everything will get better. The food that was supposed to be exported in the past couple of weeks but was not, is now being distributed to the people. The finest quality of flour, sugar and rice. The young people are spearheading the revolution, and if their demands are not met, they will riot again."

Al-Arabi is optimistic. I am skeptical. I think of Iran. The fall of a dictator, and hopes for freedom and reform, prematurely killed by the iron grip of the Islamic revolution. With time, another dictator came along, but this time armed with religion.

We are joined by Al-Iskandarani, a 28 year old lawyer from Alexandria. He couldn't find work in his field, so he's working at the beach here.
"Islamic law is the only thing that would work in Egypt". he declares ... and our conversation takes on a whole new direction.

FTS

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