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Think Out Loud

Egypt's Revolution Up Close

Pete Springer/OPB

The unrest in Egypt, which some people call a new revolution, most call a coup and the rest see as just a violent mess, is an up-close, right-around-the-block experience for Erica Aisha Charves. The Portland State University alumna moved to Egypt a year ago with her Egyptian husband, living in a neighborhood just minutes from Tahrir Square and Rabaa al-Abawiya, where thousands of supporters of the deposed president had camped for weeks.

On a trip to get cat food at the only nearby store that carries it, Charves and her husband had to pass through the Rabaa al-Abawiya protest. They were frisked by Muslim Brotherhood security in and out. Then they returned home to watch TV into the night, expecting, like many Egyptians, for the army and police to break up the protest at any moment.

That finally happened two days ago, in the early morning, and the death toll has rocked the region and altered Egypt and the United State’s relationship. A 7 p.m. curfew has been imposed, but Charves’s neighborhood is mostly ignoring it. On Thursday night, mourners for a funeral were heading to a wake and two evening weddings were getting set up. Blocks away, Charves said, tanks and other military vehicles remained, stationed where they’d been since the military ousted Morsi almost six weeks ago.

We’ll chat with Charves about her experience during the unrest.


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