November 28, 2011
They said we should delay elections because with all the demonstrations there was bound to be violence. They said that people would stay away from the polls. They said the Islamists would jam things up and no one else would get to vote. The warnings were just as wrong as wrong can be!!!!
I SMSed a simple number, with my name and ID #. Within minutes I got a return message with the address of my voting place, my room number and my number on the voters list. I live in Old Cairo which meant I had to go to a school in Fustat—a lower/lower middleclass neighborhood.
Last night it rained so today its roads were covered in slippery mud. Although it was only one district, it looked like the entire country had turned out. The soldiers guarding the entrances were not only friendly, they were well informed
There were several hundred women in line at one of the doors to the large complex of different school. I was the only without a headscarf. (Men voted at one school, women in another and there were more the latter than the former!!)
I looked for trouble—there wasn’t a hint of any. To a person, everyone was solicitous—helping me find the right door, walking me to it, offering me a chair although my particular line was only five women deep!
The women were quiet. They were serious. They were proud. And I was one of them.
Amal Sedky Winter, PhD
PS. The demonstrations against military rule continue—participants taking turns leaving Tahrir Square to vote!!!! Way to go, Egypt!!!!!!!!!!!!