Site back up

After a few days of being down, I have finally managed to restore Arabist.net. It broke (well, ok, I broke it) on the last night I was in Doha while I was carrying out what should have been a routine upgrade. I meant to repair it after getting back to Cairo, but as soon as I got back I had to rush to Hurghada to cover the horrible ferry disaster that took place. I spent all night at the hospital there interviewing the first survivors that came back and the anxious (and increasingly angry) relatives waiting outside. And then there was a day of filing my stories, and the sheer physical, mental and emotional exhaust this all caused, especially as I did not sleep much before flying back from Doha and then only a couple of hours after I went to Hurghada.

I will write about the ferry disaster later. It hardly needs to be said that the scenes in Hurghada were harrowing. My condolences go to the families of those who died on that night, whom as always are the poorest of this country. To the survivors I talked to, thank you for your eagerness to share the nightmare you just lived through. Your testimony will help shed light on the many avoidable irregularities that seem to have caused this tragedy.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.