[In our small attempt to keep everyone abreast of what is happening in cities around the world, via our farflung RPCVs,  Peter Hessler (China 1996-98), one of the recent 22 recipients of the $500,000 'genius awards'  given by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and who is now living in Cairo, Egypt with his wife and their twin babies, emailed me this morning:]

The fighting has been very, very localized, and now has been stopped for a few days.  Even on the square it’s been basically safe; you just didn’t want to go down the side streets where they were battling the police at the Ministry of Interior.  

In my neighborhood, less than a mile and a half away, there was really no sign of it.  People were very friendly to me on the square — there have been some reports of foreigners getting harassed and attacked, but that wasn’t my experience.  But a crowd like this is unpredictable.  There’s a lot of frustration and anger and you can’t be certain where it will be directed next.