Life in Egypt these days is an exhausting process of constant evaluation: Are things going in the right direction? What are the good signs? What are the bad? What is the balance?
Every day, I'm compiling a mental a chart with pro and con, or "revolutionary" and "counter-revolutionary," columns. It sort of reminds me of those "What's Hot/What's Not" charts you find in magazines.
The movement against the constitutional amendments. Or at least heating up. A lot of respected figures in the country -- judges, activists, politicians, Amr Moussa and ElBaradei -- have spoken out against the rushed, half-assed constitutional reform on which Egyptians are expected to vote in one week (which, among other things, does not diminish the powers of the presidency and discriminates against women and Egyptians who have a foreign passport, wife, or grandparent). Instead, they are calling for the creation of a constitutional assembly that genuinely represents all Egyptians to draft the new constitution Egypt deserves. In one poll by Al Masry Al Youm, 59% of respondents said they would vote no in the referendum (in another poll, it was a tie). The Muslim Brotherhood reportedly supports the amendments.
Sectarianism. After church burnings in villages and clashes between Christians and Muslims in the Cairo slum of Manshiyat Nasr that left 13 dead, there were demonstrations against sectarianism in Tahrir and a lot of the usual "national unity" talk. The sectarian clashes were sparked by a tragic Muslim-Christian romance, but many have been eager to blame then on the hidden hand of remnants of the regime. Meanwhile, Ahmad Abdalla traveled to Atfih and discovered the villagers there burnt the church when rumours spread that Christians were practicing magic (on Muslim women, to make them divorce their husbands--because only black Christian magic could explain such behaviour). This blog post is obligatory reading.
Read more of my list of promising and dispiriting recent trends in Egypt after the jump..