Saturday, March 19, 2011


12:00 Noon

I just came back from the voting place in our neighborhood at the Canal Street School in Maadi.  The lines are incredible!  The men’s line goes about two blocks and the women’s line goes a block in the other direction.  I interviewed many people and will be posting videos as quickly as YouTube allows me to upload them.  Everything is peaceful and people all reported they are happy to wait in line for as long as it takes.  One man at the front of the line reported he came at 8am and so had been there almost 3 hours waiting in line.  But he and others are happy and proud to be there, knowing they are part of history. 

Here's a link to this video:

Of the people who volunteered who how they were voting when I spoke to them, the vast majority said they were voting “NO”.  This included young and older people.  Some reported their families were split on how to vote with each side spending a long time trying to convince the other, then ultimately deciding each person should vote as their conscience dictates.  The “YES” votes said they wanted stability and to have things move along.  The “NO” votes offered many different reasons.  Some said they wanted a whole new constitution rather than just amendments on a few things.  Others said things were moving too fast and there needed to be more time for people to become educated about the issues.  Some said they didn’t want the new constitution determined by Parliament since with the parliamentary elections coming as early as June, there would not be enough time for political parties other than the National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood to get organized to have decent representation in Parliament. 

The woman in the above photo is showing her finger dipped in pink ink to show she voted.  The process for voting was very simple.  People present their ID card and the number on the card is recorded.  Then they vote and dip their finger in indelible ink.  
The most striking thing about interview people in line is that almost everyone I talked to said this was the first time they had ever voted.  The gentleman in the photo above was one of the proud first-time voters, bringing his baby daughter to be part of this event.  They also said everyone in their family and all their friends were planning to vote.  This truly is historic!  One man commented as he walked past me, “Freedom.” 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karol, i was one of those who you interviewed this morning at Canal school voting site. I opened your blog as soon as i returned home. I want to reconfirm that standing in queue for almost an hour and half was one of the historial moments in my and everybody's life time. Thanks for you reporting the event so honestly quoting people's comments. Today is like a feast, people are congratulaing each other.