Dispatches from Egypt – Day 7 – Alexandria

By James Metcalfe | June 3, 2011

by James Metcalfe – Pace Law Firm: We were sitting in the lounge in the hotel yesterday, listening to music and unwinding after a busy day. My wife remarked that the music was Kenny G’s Christmas album. They were playing Silent Night. Interesting.

We attended a Canadian Egyptian Business Counsel seminar on Tuesday evening where guest speakers talked about the future of the country. Nothing really concrete to report, but discussions with people we met centered on the political process. There is concern that there will be parliamentary elections in September, and that discussions on the new constitution will only begin after the election. Most people I spoke with are very concerned about this and believe the constitution should come first, with elections for President and parliament to follow.

The press announced that former President Hosni Mubarak will go on trial on August 3rd on corruption charges. It’s being said that his orders led to an attempt to suppress the revolution by force, which resulted in the deaths of 800 or more protesters. In the meantime, he is in a closely guarded hospital where he is being treated for heart problems and cancer, as well as depression. A sad end for a man who led his country for 32 years and watched the country develop and grow.

We drove up to Alexandria on Thursday on the Desert Road. Traffic was light in comparison to other trips here, but still chaotic with construction, erratic drivers who do not know what white lines mean, and trucks that weave down the road while piled high with empty chicken crates. The BMW 760 that blew by us at about 200kph was seen a few kilometers further on receiving a ticket in a radar trap. Justice served after nearly running us off the road.

Alexandria is a great city on the Mediterranean, and so different from Cairo. Lots of graffiti extolling the revolution. I could easily live here. More on Alex tomorrow.