Josh Wood

A journalist's observations on Lebanon and elsewhere

Out of Cairo

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Earlier today (well technically yesterday now I guess) I departed Cairo and have arrived safely in Beirut.

In short, the Mubarak regime’s campaign against journalists coupled with the dramatic xenophobia and paranoia that it instilled in segments of the population made it impossible for me to properly do my job.  Partially out of bad luck, I found myself last night hunkered down in an area that I could not feel safe in (narrowly escaped thugs a few blocks away) with seemingly no way to a secure location (for fear of traversing the same streets).  I no longer could tell who was who on the street, making safety hard to separate from danger.

Apart from the safety aspect, there was little reporting that I could do save for report when gunfire nearby intensified.  As a freelancer, much of my work revolves around stories.  I rarely get the opportunity to tackle the main story.  The stories that I had come to Egypt to work on did not involve the relative safety of Tahrir Square and the foreigner-friendly anti-government protesters.  Unable to move freely in the city anymore, I was unable to work.

I will update soon with some details of the hairier situations I found myself in on February 3 along with some notes about the significant things I saw in Cairo.  For the moment though, I am wiped.  With only a few hours of sleep my entire time in Cairo, now I need to rest.

Sincere thanks to everybody who helped me out, reassured me, voiced concern and supported my work while I was in Egypt.  I continue to be seriously concerned about the safety of my many friends and fellow journalists still in country and the Egyptian people, who have suffered the most.

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Written by woodenbeirut

February 5, 2011 at 1:04 am

Posted in Egypt

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