Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just Keepin' The Peace


Visitors to Egypt are surprised by the vast numbers of armed police and army everywhere. It isn't nearly as alarming as they appear. Every young man in Egypt unless he is supporting his family or is an only son or his mother is a foreigner must put in two years compulsory military duty that may be fulfilled with either the police or the army. Most of these young men stand about directing traffic and the local wisdom is never to ask directions from any of them since they probably have no idea where they are. Most of the guns have no bullets, by the way.

3 comments:

Kroniki egipskie said...

You are right! At the beginning I was shocked of the great deal of soldiers on the streets ... they are on every corner. Are you sure that they usually don't have bullets in their guns?

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

A lot of them don't due to a number of unfortunate incidents. One type was the odd occasion when someone on guard would fall asleep with his hand on the trigger and the gun would accidentally discharge sometimes with sad results for the sleeper. And in the late 80's there was a riot among the police in the Pyramids area when a rumour passed that the term of conscription was being increased from two years to three. There were a few people injured or killed in the riot and a hotel burned, with the result that some people in charge decided that the police would be safer if they weren't actually armed most of the time.

Steffe said...

Ha ha, totally lost are the?