Egypt: waiting for change. March 17, 2011. The Bridgton News.
By Melinda Holmes Special to the News CAIRO, EGYPT — Realization dawned slowly as I stared from across the room at the large brown eyes of my Egyptian friend growing steadily wider. The gravely voice coming from the old television next to me on Feb. 11 spoke deliberately, with a measure befitting an aging politician. […]
Bridgton native a witness to history in Egypt. February 17, 2011. The Bridgton News.
By Gail Geraghty Staff Writer CAIRO, EGYPT — When Bridgton native Melinda Holmes arrived in Cairo, Egypt to do refugee resettlement work last November, the 28-year-old may have thought she’d find the soul of the country hidden in the ancient past, somewhere amidst the pyramids dotting the desert sands. Days after moving into her apartment […]
My clarification and corrections to this article (published in my follow up on March 17, 2011):
I am a child of Maine who grew up in Bridgton and fell in love with Egypt while traveling here three years ago. I moved here in November 2010 to study Arabic while in the process of applying to graduate schools for Fall 2011. I am interested in studying some combination of international law, international relations, human rights, community development, and migration studies. I am a graduate of the USM Geography-Anthropology department and North Atlantic Regional High School, where I accredited my home school work after attaining most of my secondary education at Lake Region High School. Eager to engage in interesting work relevant to my future studies, I found an internship at an NGO providing legal aid for refugee resettlement and became part of a project that has launched me into all kinds of new dimensions, especially during and since the revolution.
My love of Egypt stems from its amazing culture and the warmth of its people, something that was demonstrated even on the worst days of the revolution. I live in downtown Cairo, about three blocks from Tahrir square. I witnessed some of the heaviest fighting of this revolution, I was trapped inside my building, I was incapacitated by tear gas, I faced suspicion in the streets during the days of anti-foreign propaganda, yet these are not the experiences that have left lasting impressions on me. The people shared what little they had willingly, in fact tripping over themselves to offer it, be it a sip of water, a date, a bottle of juice or a cigarette. At the same time they were fighting, determined to achieve a real freedom for Egyptians, something that I have always been very aware of having in our country, felt grateful for and privileged because of, though it should be a right of all people.