Although he was studying abroad in Egypt less than three weeks prior to the commencing of chaos, Adam Morsy is just as surprised as everyone else about what has emerged in the streets of Cairo.
During the previous fall semester, the junior international studies major with a concentration in the Middle East, was overseas from the middle of August until Jan. 8, yet saw no indications of what happened next.
“I can honestly say that what we are seeing occur now in Egypt could not have been predicted at all even a week after I left,” Morsy said in an e-mail. “Everything was normal. People still had grievances with the government, the same grievances that hadn’t been dealt with in 50 years. Corruption, fraud, injustice.”
While abroad, he witnessed some of this “corruption” after seeing “what appeared to be clear voter fraud” during the parliamentary elections.
“The polling stations were often surrounded by ‘security officials’ who were actually there to intimidate people to vote for a certain candidate or even not vote at all … It was a big mess that angered many Egyptians,” he said.
Morsy also saw the Egyptian people’s dissatisfaction with the country’s state during a workers strike at the American University in Cairo, where he studied.
Although unrelated to what is occurring now, he feels this instance illustrates how “Egyptians were beginning to become fed up with how they were living and were deciding to take matters into their own hands.”
Morsy believes that Egyptians “deserve democracy.” “Hosni Mubarak needs to realize his time as a dictator is over and step down,” he said. “The world also needs to realize that this is not an Islamic revolution but actually started out as a youth uprising.”
He’s been back for nearly a month, but would prefer to still be in Egypt.
“I wish I was there when it all began,” he said. “Not only do I study these things, but it’s also my life being affected. I’m half Egyptian and have very close ties with Egypt.”
“I wish I could have been a part of that,” he continued. “I wouldn’t have been throwing stones. I’d have been the big guy everyone called on to carry the wounded to get treated.”
Morsy finds the dynamics and solidarity of the people in Egypt inspiring.
“When I hear of the camaraderie that is being built in Egypt right now, with entire neighborhoods coming together to protect themselves and help their communities, I literally tear up,” he said. “I want to be a part of that. But I guess I am contributing here in the states, letting people know what’s actually going on there.”