My Heart with Egypt and Libya

Off-topic – this post has little or nothing to do with either anime or religion – but I’ve just meaning to share a little bit about Egypt and Libya.  Of course, I support the overthrow of the dictatorships in both countries (particularly in Libya – no matter how much Muammar Gadhafi has toned down in the last decade or two, his hand was and is still brutal).  But I don’t want to blog about that – others much more qualified than I can explain what’s happening.  I just want to share my personal connection to each country.

Pixiv Artist 10033297

In December 1988, my family and I were heading back to the states from Germany.  My dad had been stationed there as part of the U.S. military, and I had basically grown up in Germany.  We were eager to get home, and tried to get on the earliest plane out.  Unfortunately (or not as it later turned out), we wouldn’t be able to leave until December 22, so on the night of the 21st, we would be staying in a hotel near Frankfurt Airport.

I remember seeing the wreckage on television.  A Pan-Am plane had crashed into the ground in England.  Later, I found out that it was Pan Am Flight 103 and was grounded in an explosion by Libyan terrorists.  270 people were brutally killed.  If you’ve read the account of the crash, its frightening.  The explosion and plunge to the ground was a horrific event, made even worse by the people in Lockerbie, Scotland, whoe died from the falling debris.

The next day, I boarded a different Pan Am flight and made it home safely, not quite taking it in that the ill-fated flight had left the same airport less than 24 hours before.

As for Egypt, my connections are stronger and more recent.  While I attended college (and even after), my parents lived in Egypt for several years.  I visited them on three or four occasions (the visits ranged from a couple of weeks to several months in length), and was blessed to see many of the Egyptian sites (and a host of places that most tourists don’t even know about), from the Sphinx to Mt. Sinai to a Nile River cruise to St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.  My experiences there were a mixed bag – I felt out of place and certainly not in control while visiting, but enjoyed getting to see a culture so different from my own.  My parents, expats and world travellers as they are, felt more at home.

Drawing by Kuroboshi Kouhaku

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the Egyptian people surprised me, and mostly in a good way.  I met many, MANY that spoke excellent English.  I was surprised by how young the population was, at least in the area my parents lived in.  And I appreciated the trust I could put in many of those I encountered.  Maybe these things shouldn’t come as a surprise at all, but perhaps previous experiences with other individuals in different nations made me wary.

As Egypt moves toward setting up a democracy and Libya, hopefully, also goes that direction, I realize that my heart is with the people in those countries.  I hope they’ll be able to successfully establish governments which value their people in countries where they can feel safe.  And by extension, the world will be that much safer and freer.

7 thoughts on “My Heart with Egypt and Libya

  1. I’m with Janette – I really liked this post. I’m only barely aware of recent events in Egypt. It’s sometimes hard to connect events so far away with my concept of reality. Reading others’ experiences makes those countries feel much more real.

    1. I’m glad you liked it and that it helped you connect with those countries! I totally get what you’re saying, though. For instance, I really don’t have any connection and little knowledge about what happened in Tunisia, even though the situation there is directly related to Libya and Egypt.

      Oh, and I sent you a PM on…that anime forum we’re both on (can’t remember which it is!). Please think about my request. 🙂

  2. I’m really hoping that the world can come together and find a way to help bring the uprising in Libya to a peaceful end, which seems to be the opposite from what it’s heading toward as of now. I’m feeling more than a little bummed out today about the way that things are playing out over there. Gadaffi’s days are surely numbered, but I’m hoping they run out soon before he slaughters what’s left of the rebels.

    I’m always interested in what anibloggers have to say about the rest of the world and enjoyed this post. Quite a coincidence (close call?) you had with that flight home when you were younger.

    1. Yeah, it’s such a difficult situation. I hope that the U.S. and/or other countries can do SOMETHING to help. It’s a delicate situation, and though certainly a very different time and situation from the past, I’m sure we’re very aware of our failures in Africa in the past (ex. Somalia).

      Thanks for your comments. 🙂

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