CBC reporter’s first night in Egypt

In last Friday’s episode of The Current, CBC’s Heba Ali recounts her first
night in Egypt in a simple yet disturbing narrative.

Her story begins with an eventful drive
from the airport (she was stopped by the mob, “I explain frantically that I”m a journalist, just trying to do my job. One man rips my press card out of my hand. Three others pile into the car on top of me. They demand I open my equipment bags. They force us to drive to the army general.”) After her release, she spends the first night in a hotel room with a group of
journalists: outside, you can hear the sounds of gun shots and angry mobs. The journalsts decide it’s too risky to leave the room.

Ali puts her mic on
the balcony (“as invisible as possible”) and tries to report while staying away from the windows. “As
best we can, we try to piece together what was happening from our
vantage point,” she says. “One man is hit by a stray bullet and falls to the ground,
motionless. His fellow protestors carry him away.”

Even a knock on the door is
enough to set them on edge, as reports about attacks on journalists continue to
pour in: one reporter has heard that pro-Mumbarak protestors were threatening anyone with a camera. Another knock. They don’t answer. Everyone in the room sounds on edge.