By Jess Bidgood
Jan 31, 2011
BOSTON — Political demonstrations are continuing into their seventh day in Egypt, where millions of people have taken to the streets calling for an end to the 30-year-reign of Hosni Mubarek. With the streets in turmoil, thousands of foreigners have been trying to get out out of the country.
But for Manchester’s Colin Bower, leaving Cairo on Saturday was bittersweet. He was in Egypt for the eighth time in ten months, trying to bring his sons back to the United States after their Egyptian mother allegedly kidnapped them to the country in 2009.
Before he left for Egypt, Bower was told a scheduled visit on Friday with his sons would proceed without security concerns. But the visit didn’t happen.
|Scott Bowers poses with his two sons in a family photo.|
“I’d been sitting there for two hours and my boys did not show up, nor did anyone from the entourage from my ex-wife. I started to get nauseous, my eyes started to water and I started to get stuffed up from the tear gas that was wafting,” Bower said on WGBH's The Emily Rooney Show.
Bower waited for another day in his Cairo hotel room, watching protestors move into Tahrir Square, which is now the epicenter of the protest. He still hasn’t heard from his sons.
“I’ve been extremely concerned,” Bower said. “The embassy’s trying to reach out to find out where they are and how they are.”
It was another agonizing visit for Bower, who has seen his sons only four times since his former wife allegedly abducted them to Egypt in August 2009. She has repeatedly not shown up for scheduled visits, defying State Department negotiations and even court orders.
“My ex-wife represents a lot of what’s being protested against. She’s been protected despite court orders against her,” Bower said.
Bower chose to return to the U.S. when it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to see his sons on this visit, either. “Any other operation in that kind of environment would just not have been safe,” Bower said.
Bower is hopeful that revolution might help allow him bring his sons back to the U.S..
“If the regime goes, then you can have true dedication to equality under the law and transparency and all of those things that add up to basic human rights,” Bower said.
NPR: EGYPT PROTESTS CONTINUE