The New Yorker in the December 19 & 26, 2011 issue has a long insightful piece by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) entitled “The Mosque on the Square” Two weeks inside the Egyptian revolution. You can find it on page 46.
As many of us know, Peter, his wife, and their toddler twins, are living now in Cairo where Peter is reporting on that nation’s Arab Spring for The New Yorker and for all of us.
In November of this year, Peter sent us a quick report from Egypt; it was shortly after his family arrived in-country.
Once again, our website www.peacecorpsworldwide.org is ahead of the Times, on top of the News, and before the New Yorker when it comes to keeping track of RPCV writers!
Here’s what Peter had to say a month ago. (But you may also want to read his longer piece in the current issue of the magazine.)
Peter Hessler Checks In From Cairo
Posted by John Coyne on Monday, November 28th 2011
[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.”