THE AWL - 7 FEBRUARY 2011
The other day, 19-year-old Dylan Sodaro was in line to register for classes at American University in Cairo. The Egyptian woman processing forms asked Dylan if he was Jewish. All week, people had been taking to the streets to criticize Hosni Mubarak, widely considered a friend to America and Israel. "Won't this hurt your people?" the Egyptian woman said. Dylan shrugged—at this point, he wasn't sure what the protests meant.
On Thursday night, the eve of the largest gatherings calling for Mubarak's resignation yet, a friend of Dylan's named Will was having a party. Dylan retreated to a bedroom with his best mates, Matthew Scarvie, also 19 and from New Mexico, and Gunnar Dancer, a 20-year old from Minnesota. It was very early on Friday morning when they made it back to a shared apartment they rented—a block from Tahrir Square, ground zero for the protests. The friends called the apartment "The Aviary," because of the birds they kept on the balcony. "They're probably dead now," Gunnar said.