Sunday, Feb 13… Reading my last post, I can’t believe how the moment determines the mood. I was so elated then to have gotten the job, that the reality of leaving Egypt never hit me. Especially since I had known coming in that AUC was a terminal 3-year gig. But 3 became 4 (which I confess I regarded as a personal defeat albeit one with perks) and then 4 cut down to 3-1/2 because of the offer from Yonsei. And now reality is biting big time! I am sitting in the airport with this giant lump in my throat, unable to cry but feeling oh so blue! …

Feb 19th…

Well, I interrupted my lament for pleasanter activities such as chatting with friends and boom! It’s a week later and  I’m in Seoul after a 2 day detour in Istanbul which was instructive and interesting and may prove yet to be fruitful. Seoul is freezing cold, in comparison to both Istanbul (which was plenty cold in its own right) and Cairo naturally. 3 full days in (I arrived Wednesday eve.. nearly night) I’ve fought jet lag, discovered many small and inexpensive places with great eats, paid a brief visit to the main campus of my new employers – where I will NOT be teaching – and lets see… what else? met a few of my new and very pleasant colleagues.

Am missing Egypt like crazy still, and I daresay the intensity will pass, but really I need to chronicle the last few weeks there before the immediacy of those memories fade. A blow-by-blow account of the revolution which I was privileged to witness is certainly in order and I will write about it. What a time to have left. But at least I listened to my inner voice and delayed the departure until the 13th for which I’m sooo…. grateful. Not only did I get a few last extra days with everyone (and if start naming them I will start blubbering…), but I also got to experience first hand, the stepping down of Mubarak. Talk about a (nearly) bloodless coup! I am proud, so proud of the Egyptians for what they’ve achieved and in such exemplary fashion. I’m truly privileged to have been a part of it albeit as a sympathetic foreigner.  And be it on vacation or insh’allah in the capacity of a visiting scholar in the years to come, I will, to quote Schwarzanegger, be back.

 

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