Cairo V - Happy Birthday, Muhammad
Some guys praying at a protest in Tahrir Square.
Last night we were drinking beers at Muhammad's birthday party, waiting for him to show up. He left us at the bridge to walk through the metro to Tahrir. No one has seen him since. The phones still weren't working, and Ahmed was with him. I was tired but didn't want to sleep until I saw his face. I laid down on a cushion next to everyone just to rest my head, but I immediately fell asleep. I woke up a couple of hours later to that song from the Ghost soundtrack.
"That was my prom song," I proclaimed.
"Were you the prom queen?" asked Maia.
Sherif passed me his cell phone that had a video of a guy getting shot in the head in Midian.
"Why am I watching this over and over?" I asked. "Where's Muhammed?"
I had horrible dreams and have decided that I don't want to sleep anymore. I found out that Muhammad was in a hotel room somewhere. We still hadn't heard anything from Ahmed.
Somehow the hash made it through with us. I didn't question how or where it came from. I just took a few puffs and lay back down. Then I realised it wasn't even hash – I'm not sure what it was – and we had run out of smokes.
I awoke exhausted and Maia asked me, "Rachel, what if you were in love, but you were with someone else?"
"Well… that would be cool," I said.
"What's love?" she asked.
"What's the difference between loving someone and being in love?" I said.
Yeah, I'm in love with an Egyptian guy – he's the one I was waiting for in the apartment.
Little Lew is living with us now. He'd have nowhere to go if we left him. I think the internet is still on but it's not working too well. We stayed up until 7 AM waiting for Muhammad and Ahmed. They never turned up. The New York Giants hat I got Muhammad for his birthday is still sitting on the table.
Our two Egyptian friends showed up this morning after spending the entire night in Tahrir. They looked so tired. I went out to buy food and cigarettes this morning for L. No one had them. Some guy saw me searching and hissed, "Psst, Aiza Sigara?" Then he brought me to a side street and I bought some reasonably priced (I think it was the equivalent of $3) black-market cigarettes.
Our friend who has a three year old child ended up staying last night after numerous people insisted they leave. She woke up this morning in a panic and left immediately. Then we watched the news. It seemed like the violence had calmed down a bit and people were starting to gather in Tahrir again. If the same two million people show up again, we thought, this could be all over. Our Egyptian friends asked us to stay home today. "If you want to support us, stay home," they said. Of course we listened. We made plans to go home soon to see Little Lew and anyone else who may show up. Our place and our Irish friends' place have become safe havens for anyone in need of a place to stay. Our friend Merc decided to go to his apartment downtown despite our concerns. His neighbors called yesterday to ask him to check on their valuables since they had fled to Saudi Arabia.
A few minutes later I realized that my phone was finally working and found out that Ahmed was OK.
"We were trying to solve the problem between the pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak supporters," he said. "We solved it."
He told me that he hadn't heard from Muhammed, but several people said they saw him and that he was alright. Several of our friends said they were going back to work today, including Ahmed. The streets looked completely normal, even the vendors were selling cassette tapes, sunglasses, and hats. But at the same time we watched a bunch of tanks pass us while drinking some juice. They were headed to Tahrir.
When we got home, little Lew had cleaned the entire apartment and prepared us a meal. He saw some of the comments people left on my previous posts and blushed about the "sex with a 19-year-old" comment. He is so fucking cool.
L said, "Shit we're on Gawker! I was on there before… I was in an American Apparel ad."