Been out shopping this morning – to my local food and veg market etc here in Cairo. The atmosphere seems to have shifted somewhat…..everyone I spoke to had two things on their minds. Firstly, they are all happy that the newly elected parliament have actually gone to work today!! I am watching them all been sworn in on TV at the moment and have to confess I am excited myself! Second on everyone’s mind is the 25th January. I guess I don’t move in revolutionary circles 🙂 because most I spoke are not going to Tahrir on 25th – they don’t want it to start again. Those few that are going when asked if they were going to protest or celebrate – they said celebrate, with wide grins on their faces – these were mostly younger ones.I know there is much speculation about the new parliament- the majority are Islamic – ok this is a mostly Muslim country! There is uncertainty as to how long these people will stay in parliament. There is uncertainty about whether they are only here to draft the new constitution or if they will see the 4 years out. There is uncertainty as to whether they will be able to draft a constitution acceptable to everyone. Well, this is impossible anyway – the most that should be expected of a County’s Constitution is that it will impartially protect civil and human rights for all citizens.Everyone seems to be waiting for the 25th – even me. Everyone is hoping it will be a quiet day that passes without violence or incidents. The feeling seems to be that – at least now there are finally a group of people sitting down to talk – and all sections are represented. There is an atmosphere of hope in the streets outside of Tahrir. I have walked through Tahrir a few times since my return to Cairo – at night there are quite a few people gathered around talking – watching a big screen where the events of the early days of the revolution are being screened. By day the traffic is flowing and there are less people around.
I hope the optimism and quiet hope I get from my neighbours and the traders I chat with are realised – it’s been an uncertain and sometimes troubled year – hopefully the swelling desire for for a return to stability,certainty and growth will become a reality now in Egypt.