Similarly, when we were posted in Bangkok they came visiting and the kids had a ball. We next visited them in Scotland. They made a quick trip to visit us in Kuala Lumpur. It was the done thing between us to visit wherever our respective postings were. We enjoyed seeing places we visited through the eyes of someone who was almost local - the best way to immerse ourselves in a new culture.
We were all set to visit them in Cairo and they, to visit us in New Zealand. Unfortunately they've been asked to pack up and return home to the US. As for their visiting NZ, what with the earthquake and hundreds of major after shocks I don't think they are keen right now!
It is sad about Cairo. Not too long ago Egypt was the admiration of the world. They ousted someone they believed was a corrupt dictator through the sheer determination and unity of the people. They were out in huge numbers. They camped out in Tahrir square at great discomfort to themselves for several weeks. They demanded and got free and fair elections. The Muslim Brotherhood won the elections fair and square.
Why did the Egyptians rise up against their newly elected leaders? Why was their sense of injustice rattled once more?
According to this site "the application of Islamic ideology in government policy and the victimization of Coptic Christians and secularists by the Islamic fervor following the Brotherhood's rise to power" was responsible. Another article said there were open and increasing sexual attacks on women on the streets. Apparently the Morsi administration had made a promise to Egyptians - that they would appoint "a female vice president, and a Coptic Christian deputy." They didn't keep that promise. Khaled Fahmy, the chairman of the history department at the American University in Cairo had this to say:
'We did not risk our lives simply to change the players'
So now, Egypt is once more going through a difficult phase. On the one hand, Morsi supporters are right - he is Egypt's legitimately elected leader, and on the other, the opposition is right - they didn't fight so hard for the Islamisation of their mainly bi-cultural nation nor the replacement of one kind of dictator with another.
Intolerance between communities, as we know in multi-cultural India, is a curse. No one wins. For a country to prosper we need every citizen, irrespective of community, to feel they have the opportunity to be free to prosper. Can't help admiring China for they seem to have woken to the fact (to a degree) that the community of politicians and their goons cannot be the only ones who prosper.