Egypt just won a qualifying soccer match against Algeria.
The old and the young, the rich and the poor have all been waving flags and honking horns for two days without a break until 7.30pm this evening when the game began. Just before kick off, the streets were empty and you could hear a pin drop. Until Egypt scored its first goal and the roar of 20 million fans let loose into the streets. Then, as quickly as it had risen up, it was replaced with complete silence. Until they scored the second goal: pandemonium. As I write this, the whole city has gone absolutely nuts. There will be no sleeping tonight.
Beep-beep, beep-beep-beeeeep, beep-beep, beep-beep-beeeeeeep! Misr ya misr!
Reminds me of when they won the African Cup a few years ago: See my post Go Misr!
Egypt plays Algeria again in Sudan on Wednesday. Until then, the city's fans will no doubt run wild. And I say: go for it. Better soccer fanaticism than some other fundamentalism. All of Cairo is celebrating tonight: "We love soccer and we love our country." If a nation is to rally around something, I'm thrilled for it to be sport. Go Misr!