Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Young Africans v Zamalek - Football (and Normality?) Returns at Last!

Egypt for too long has been in in a state of fear, mourning and pessimism.  The causes of this are numerous, ranging from the depressed economy to inflated revolutionary expectations to ominous signs of further curtailments of already meager individual rights to the worrisome stream of criminal activity.  There are some -- both of the "revolutionary" and "counter-revolutionary" variety -- who see value in chaos, instability and a general lack of normalcy.  For the rest of us, however, we want to live our lives, and life for the tens of millions of us means having our football back.

Zamalek - also Africa's strongest beer 
That is where Zamalek's upcoming match against Tanzania's leading Young Africans in the CAF Champion's League qualifiers takes on an elevated importance to Egyptians and resonates to neighbors beyond.  Coming on the heels of the contrasting black events of Port Said and glorious victory of Zambia, the game is a chance to showcase the depth and diversity of African football, reintroducing the continent's and Middle East's most storied side, Zamalek, to a world missing the presence of Egypt at its finest.  It is also a chance for those to the north to appreciate the joy, spirit and much-overlooked organizational capacity of the rest of Africa.  

May the game be great, Zamalek victorious and all leave with smiles and hope for a happier, safer and more prosperous normality.          

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