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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inauguration Day - Cairo View

I had hoped to have a satellite dish installed during our first week here in Cairo so that we could watch the presidential inauguration. This was not to be.

To get some coverage, we hooked our TV into the cable I had pre-wired through the apartment. This gave us enough antenna to pull in about ten local stations. One station, Nile TV, appeared to be ready to cover the inauguration live so we settled back to watch.

The station's coverage looked pretty much like any other television news operation. They had an attractive female anchor:

And she deferred to a pair of "talking heads," one female and one male.

The lady appeared to be part of the news operation while the male seemed like an "expert."

There was at least an hour of coverage before events moved to the capitol building. The pair of commentators filled the time with their conversation - usually in front of a split screen with the left half labeled "Washington" and the right half labeled "Cairo."

Finally we watched full screen as former presidents arrived on the scene.

George Bush, "the father" as he is known by our friends here is still popular.

Jimmy Carter is exceptionally popular with Egyptians:

George "double Bush" as our friends say, on the other hand, is not at all popular.

And, as I've indicated before, President Obama is very popular and people here have high expectations for him.

When the actual inaugration began, our commentators disappeared and we were treated to a simulataneous translation into Arabic of the speakers' words. We couldn't make out much of the English being spoken but certainly recognized the Lord's Prayer when Rick Warren got to that point. I wish I spoke enough Arabic to understand that.

It was clear what was happening at this point although we couldn't hear Justice Roberts flub his line.

Aretha was not translated!

Mercifully, we didn't have to listen to that lady who was "stiching up a hem."

The quick look backwards from the now former president was our cue to turn off the TV.

Watching an inauguration from another country makes you realize how lucky we are to live in America where transitions of power are smooth and the rest of the world cares enough to show the event live on their local stations.

Numerous people asked if we saw the event so we know that they were interested.

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