I just received an email from a friend who lives in Egypt, which ends with the following anecdote:
I went to the veggies market last Friday, I usually go on Friday anyway, but this time for the first time the merchants stopped selling anything when they heard the call for prayer!!! Most of them left their young kids to watch over the goods and they went to pray. Most of the customers also disappeared and the few like me who were oblivious to the “New Misrstan” had to wander around aimlessly and wait for those idiots to return! It was unbelievable, suddenly we are living in Saudi or Afghanistan without the need for a passport or a visa.
“Misrstan” is a play on words meaning “Egyptistan” — as in, “Afghanistan,” “Pakistan” — you know, all those extra “pious” Muslim nations. And of course, where Muslim prayers are practiced with rigidity, you can rest assured any number of other “pious” practices — such as hatred for infidels — are also being upheld. Anyway, this is but another subtle example of how Egypt continues to change.