I walked to the US Embassy this morning for my appointment with an official to discuss my travel to Gaza. The security guard told me the Embassy was closed due to the current unrest and destruction from last night. I didn’t take “no” for an answer, and pressed him with my need to travel to Gaza tomorrow. He went inside and his superior came out and told me the same thing. No luck today. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe not.
The atmosphere near Tahrir Square today is both tense and calm. Seems odd but that’s what it feels like. Two sides are squared off. Young men and boys in Tahrir Square throwing rocks at the Army (police?) and other Egyptians standing on the side of the Army watching, as spectators at a sporting event.
While the young people are provoking and trying to engage, the Army is watching, watching, watching …… and then they all run en masse alongside the military vehicles shooting tear gas.
The human side of this confrontation was so real this morning. The army personnel are all in uniform fully decked with weapons and shields, but they each appear calm and nonplussed. Smoking a cigarette. Distributing Sunkist drinks and eating bread. Chatting with spectators while keeping a watchful eye on the demonstrators.
Where is this all headed? What are the demonstrators trying to accomplish? One middle-aged Egyptian told me that the demonstrators want to hear from President Morsi, but the President hasn’t appeared (shaking his heading).