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Highlights from our online summer travel series.

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By Mehri Khalil

MAAAP student Mehri Khalil went back to her hometown of Cairo, Egypt, for the summer, and was deeply moved by the changes that she witnessed in the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution.

It’s Thursday, June 2, around 9:30 p.m. Stuck in traffic because a minibus was reversing on the bridge on my way from the airport, I feel right at home. I am back in Cairo, the capital that I have complained about for so long. Only now, everything seems perfect. I am not bothered by the amount of cars in the street, the pollution or the noise. I am happy.

Image courtesy of Mehri Khalil

Last time I was here was for winter break. Christmas and New Year passed as they always do. Then, on January 25, protests started to take place. We didn’t call it a revolution at the time, but the protests grew bigger and bigger. 18 days later, our former president Hosni Mubarak resigned. Unfortunately, I had to leave my country during the most violent period, just a couple of days before that famous February 11. Protesters were very peaceful during the uprising, but the police force was starting to get aggressive, killing hundreds of people. I can’t describe what I felt on my way to the airport on that first day of February, surrounded by army tanks. There was so much uncertainty that I didn’t know if I would ever come back home.

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