As a resident of the Midwest and a longtime observer of the Middle East, its fair to say that it's a blizzard out there. I actually slept through one blizzard and am spellbound by the other.
First, a digression. When we moved two years ago from Washington D.C. to the Midwest, my then five-year old - when asked what he was most looking forward to - said he couldn't wait for snow. In the previous three DC winters I think we had a total of eight inches of snow, if that. I remember one day when we had maybe half an inch of snow, my wife left work early so that she and my son could collect all the snow from the front yard to make a snowman. The grass was completely exposed, our snowman was more like a snowboy, and our son developed a set of grander expectations.
So, when we moved to the Midwest he wanted snow. Lots of it. Of course, our first winter here was one of the mildest on record. Disappointing, for sure. But, when he heard about the record-setting snow storms DC got last year, he was angry that the snow gods had frowned on him once again.
This winter had been fairly mild again. Then earlier this week we started hearing stories about the historic blizzard that was painting a bullseye on our city. The boy was excited. I must admit, I was excited. My wife, who grew up here, wasn't so excited. Not to discount the danger that a blizzard presents to those in its path, we were just excited to get some real winter weather.
When the blizzard finally hit late Tuesday night, it did so with a fury. Skipping ahead to the next day, we woke up to a winter wonderland (i.e. LOTS of snow and no school or work.) And the news was that this was indeed an historic blizzard. But we missed the actual storm. Slept right through it. The storm really kicked in after my son had gone to bed. And I got sick earlier that day, went to bed early and didn't even hear the 50 mph winds.
But the real blizzard out there was unfolding in the Middle East, especially Egypt. You can hear many different perspectives, most of which have evolved right along with events. I hear a lot of people view this as the Arab world's equivalent of Berlin, circa 1989. Perhaps. My own fear is that its more like Tehran, circa 1979. We'll see. But if you're interested in some solid analysis I encourage you to check out this Pundicity blog, written by a friend of mine who, unlike many journalists and observers out there, is an actual expert on the topic at hand and, unlike many journalists and observers out there, doesn't spend half his column telling you that.
This is history unfolding before our very eyes. I asked my seven year old if he'd heard of Egypt at all this week. He hadn't, and I explained briefly what was happening. He seemed to wrestle with the issues, asking some tough questions, before falling asleep to await the blizzard. Let's hope the rest of us don't fall asleep watching the bigger blizzard unfold. Berlin or Tehran? Historic either way.
(Photo Credit: www.toddalbert.com)