I think it is impossible to forget it. That loud, deafening silence that descended on the streets of Cairo on Wednesday rings in my ears and haunts me to this very moment. I have never known anything like it in my life. It wasn’t a silence of peace or calm. It was a silence you only witness in movies that depict the end of the world. There was a sense of anticipation and foreboding and the hush that descended on Cairo was heavy with it.
Since I walked through the streets on Wednesday, I feel like that silence has possessed me. And since I saw the footage of the bodies lying in the streets, since I saw the pictures of the churches that were set on fire, since I saw the death tolls rising on the news, silence has become the soundtrack that accompanies me everywhere. And that’s not an exaggeration.
(pic from UK’s The Guardian, showing a Cairo Street during the curfew)
There’s many involuntary feelings I remember from Cairo that shocked me enough as to remain in my memory forever.
One was my reaction to pollution as soon as I exited the plane’s doors.
Another one was the amazing NOISE that I could hear all over making me ask if there was some football match celebration or something because all and every car driver was using the horn at the same time.
For me, both were an indicative of a bad quality of life. Of course we get used to everything, but… all that smoke and dust in the air …. and specially… that noise.
It’s so tightly linked to my memory of Cairo that reading abt silence in the city, specially after Ramadan, sounds… inconceivable.
I wish Bassem Youssef was saying something about it. At least people at home would have a chance to smile about all this shit.
Ah, Poor Stupid Misr, that still needs someone forcing you to shut up to create chances for thinking and noticing about silence!