Mothers always worry. It must be in our DNA. I imagine we worry more than fathers, but maybe not.
Tonight I can’t sleep because a good friend of mine is embarking on a big trip tomorrow. I’m worried because he is leaving Gaza and traveling through the northern Sinai to Cairo, Egypt.
My uncle was an ambulance driver in the Sinai during WWII. I can’t imagine the worry my grandmother must have felt in those days when intermittent telegrams were the only way to connect.
There’s been a lot of unrest in that part of the world in recent weeks. In early August, sixteen Egyptian border guards were ambushed near Rafah and killed as they sat down to eat and break their Ramadan fast. Israel claimed the killers were militants from Gaza, but Hamas emphatically denied it. I’ve seen no credible news yet about who might have been responsible.
Everyone will agree, however, that the northern Sinai has gotten more lawless since President Mubarak’s ouster in 2011. There have been reports of the Bedouins kidnapping foreigners in the northern Sinai and releasing them unharmed. A United Nations delegation canceled a planned visit to Gaza in September this year because of the unrest. And yesterday I heard that several Egyptian police were shot in Rafah, but not killed.
Egyptian President Morsi is trying to regain some control by deploying tanks, aircraft and extra military personnel to the region for the first time since the 1973 war with Israel.
My friend is confident that he will have no problems. I hope he is right, but I still need that reassurance to see him on Facebook when he reaches Cairo, or receive his email. This new technology (new in terms of my lifetime) is a blessing at times like this.