Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Very Rotarian Birthday; More on Diaa Eddin Gad

I have to say that the members of my host club made my morning--I've gotten emails and texts galore wishing me well and inviting me to the Monday night meeting tomorrow. I'll head there after my methods class, hopefully with my nifty Rotary Club of Peoria banner to exchange for one of theirs. As bumpy as my start with Rotary here in Egypt was in the beginning, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the concern and goodwill of the Rotarians in my club. Hopefully this semester I'll be able to do more with them--volunteering and the like. Soon, I am going to head to Islamic Cairo to visit Al-Azhar Mosque and perhaps some others.
First I wanted to mention Diaa Eddin Gad (or Diaa Gad el-Din in some versions of the news stories) again. Because, shamefully, I do not read Arabic with any great ease (I applaud myself if I can decipher the occasional street sign or menu), I cannot vouch for what's said in his blog. I can confirm however that from the information available, he was arrested following a peaceful protest organized by the liberal Wafd Party. I am told by a journalist that Diaa was not advocating for violence against or in Egypt. As there is a dearth of English-language information on him, I will continue to try and find out from Arabic-speakers more details.

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