Sunday, March 15, 2009

Apologies and Refugees

The Salon Afrique event went very well. The theme was apologies and their place as a political tool both in Africa and in the rest of the world. Apologies for personal wrongs with political implications, for national wrongs, and for colonial wrongs were all discussed. Most of the discussion participants were from Africa, so it was a much more practical rather than theoretical perspective on whether formal apologies should be accepted, what they meant, the accompanying moral imperative to act to rectify wrongs, and more.
Afterward, I joined my friend Claudine for Lebanese food. Another of her friends joined us and we had great conversation. Claudine, who is Burundian but was born in Rwanda, told us about growing up in refugee camps and her eventual resettlement to Maryland and how she ended up here in Cairo. It's amazing the kind of people you meet here.
While I was listening to perspectives on apologizing, another building was burning in Cairo. At least it wasn't an attack, just poor safety standards, apparently.

Fire hits historic building in downtown Cairo
Egyptians arrested over unexploded firebomb are claimed to have been "fighting [...] over girls"
US couples plead not guilty to buying Egyptian babies

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