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Well...I don't know about moving there, but I certainly would like to visit Iceland.

I first became curious about Iceland when as a child of about 7 or 8, I heard tell in school of the Norwegian/Icelandic explorers/adventurers Erik the Red, who settled Greenland, and his son Leif Eriksson, who was said to have discovered Vinland. Then, while I was in secondary school, I met a girl who'd actually been born and lived there until her parents divorced and her mother took her back with her to her own native country, The Netherlands. The stories she told me of her father's country fired my imagination and instilled in me the longing to go there and look around for myself one day. But it's been 30 years and I still haven't gone...

I have been to Egypt though, became masriyya through marriage, and I don't know what to make of the 'revolution' that got rid of Mubarak earlier in the week. Traditionally as well as practically, Arab nations aren't familiar with the concept of democracy; and from what I know of the Egyptians, most of them have other, more important things to worry about than what form their government should take. 30% of the population can neither read nor write, and 60% live on or just above the breadline. Corruption is everywhere. With Mubarak out of the way, and the Military High Council in charge, I don't see that there is really going to be a fundamental change in the short term...and in the long term, who knows?

Day 14 - Your earliest memory
Day 15 - Your favorite tumblrs
Day 16 - Your views on mainstream music
Day 17 - Your highs and lows of this past year
Day 18 - Your beliefs
Day 19 - Disrespecting your parents
Day 20 - How important you think education is
Day 21 - One of your favorite shows
Day 22 - How have you changed in the past 2 years?
Day 23 - Give pictures of 5 guys who are famous and who you find attractive.
Day 24 - Your favorite movie and what it’s about
Day 25 - Someone who fascinates you and why
Day 26 - What kind of person attracts you?
Day 27 - A problem that you have had
Day 28 - Something that you miss
Day 29 - Goals for the next 30 days


( 4 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Feb. 13th, 2011 10:27 am (UTC)
Iceland is magical but I wouldn't want to live there!

And I believe that Eqypt can build a democracy, I don't think it will be easy or plain sailing but I believe they can do it.
Feb. 13th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.
Feb. 14th, 2011 07:07 am (UTC)
Iceland is a lovely place. I went when the Kroner was very high and things were outrageously priced. I was lucky enough to stay with an Icelandic girl I knew from an online forum, which kept the cost down a fair bit. She also took a week off work to drive me around and show me the sights. So fantastic. Not a tree to be seen though, which I thought was odd. Good thing they have geothermal heating, because there's no wood, if there ever was any! Now that prices have fallen, you should consider going.

As for Egypt, you're in a better position to know the people than most, I'd say. All the people I saw on the TV being interviewed were obviously foreign-educated, intellectuals and the like. I don't know that the majority of Egyptians would want a govt with them in charge any more than their current corrupt govt. I fear there may be a hidden fundamentalist element who will now swoop in and take control. Which of course would lead to a riskier planet and worse conditions for women in Egypt (as if it's not bad enough with FGM etc).
Feb. 14th, 2011 08:21 am (UTC)
Now that prices have fallen, you should consider going.

Before, it was the cost holding me back; now, it's the fact that no one wants to come with me :-( If I can't persuade anyone in the next year and a half (till my 50th birthday), I'll definitely go on my own.

All the people I saw on the TV being interviewed were obviously foreign-educated, intellectuals and the like.

That's what concerned me, too. There is no groundswell of popular or political support for the concept of democracy in Egypt. Except for a small contingent of educated people who can't find work because they have no connections, the vast majority of Egyptians don't give a fig for politics or human rights. Muslim extremists hold sway in some parts of the country; the army often has to be deployed there. It enjoys the respect of the population, who will support whatever solution the army high command proposes, as that has been the way it's always been. Egypt has been governed by military mem ever since the 1952 revolution: Naguib, Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak all rose to power through the army. Both Naguib and Sadat paid the price when they struck out on their own and tried to implement policies that the army didn't approve of.

So I don't believe that Egypt can build a democracy, or that what happened last week can truly be the dawn of a new era. The secret police may be keeping its head down now, but I'm sure they'll be back. And everything will go back to normal pretty soon.
( 4 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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