His name was Hani. A young man, MBA holder, and in a nation like Egypt which often makes little sense, he was driving a group of us in a minibus to the cooler environs of Alexanderia. With the serenity of Fairuz playing in the background, smoke from from two voracious smokers wafting out of the moving vehicle there came that moment that analysts are trained to see through the haze.
Midway through the 2.5 hour trip from Cairo to Alex I noticed Hani drift away, momentarily, from the conversation and play with his headlights in a rhythmic pattern. Egyptian drivers know the secret language of headlights often involves some very colorful cursing- the silent storm , if you will. But Hani’s intent was far more noble than that , he explained ‘Sir, look, its pretty simple: I was warning the driver, in the opposite direction, about police radar’. There was nothing particularly unusual about that- the angry reason behind it was what drew my attention. ‘ Why should I let the poor guy give a Govt. that gives us nothing 150 EGP? ‘
I shook my head in understandstanding and empathy.: It was that Sep. day 2010 that I had an inkling something might be on the horizon.
Look closely at the Egyptian landscape: The Hani (s) of Egypt are muttering anew.