NYTimes article on ‘curfew laws’

The New York Times article, “As Egyptians Ignore Curfew, Talk of a U.S. – Brotherhood Conspiracy” takes a descriptive approach to the new curfew laws. The opening captures the reader’s attention almost immediately by painting a picture of the scene in Cairo, Egypt since the curfew laws have been set in place. The opening states, “CAIRO — The sounds made lately by curfew violators here are mostly not shouts or gunshots, but the clacking of dice on wooden backgammon boards, the clicking of dominoes on cafe tables crowded with hookahs and grumbling fueled by years of upheaval.” I appreciate that the writer, Rod Nordland, is able to establish some character into the piece. Often than not, writers write what they are told and, in the process, fail to use their imagination and capture the reader’s attention. I know I have been guilty of doing so.
Nordland says, “When the conversation turns to politics, the predominant topic is a surprise to American ears: the conspiracy between the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood to destroy Egypt.” This is an accurate statement; I agree that the majority of Americans haven’t even speculated any sort of conspiracy between the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t agree with Nordland’s next statement, however; it seems like he puts his own spin on things and practically dismisses the views of the Egyptians. He says, “However crackpot that view may sound, it is widespread among supporters of the military.” While that opinion may sound unfamiliar to us it doesn’t’ mean it’s unfamiliar in other parts of the world. Clearly Syria doesn’t fully trust or even like us because on Tuesday the 29th the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into the New York Times website. On the other hand, NY Times is based in New York and read by, predominately, a US audience. Thus, it is understandable to use the word “crackpot” in this scenario.
Regardless, I found the article to be very intriguing because I had no idea that most Egyptians have this “anti-Americans.” The writer characterizes the scene in Egypt as tense and scary for Americans, especially American journalist. The article states, “Americans are with the Muslim Brotherhood, Farouq stated in a tone suggesting that it was common knowledge. You did something good when you killed Osama bin Laden, but now you are with Al Qaeda. You support the terrorists.” Nordland makes it seem like there are angry men all over Egypt right now with a strong hatred for the American people because of our alleged affiliation with terrorists.
I would have preferred more quotes from these alleged angry citizens. However, it is understandable for the lack of quotes due to the lack of confrontation and the journalist’s personal safety.
Additionally, the title was misleading for me. I went into this article thinking it would concern the recent curfew changes and Egyptian citizens’ reactions. However, I received the Egyptian citizen’ reactions to Americans instead of the new curfew. The article almost made me forget about the curfew changes and, instead, introduced me to the Egyptian’s perspective of Americans.


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