For the first time in all my years as a news junkie, I know what it feels like to watch the news about my home.
Last Tuesday, the Egyptian people, without leadership or organization, protested on mass around the country. In many countries of the world, the number of people that gathered would not have been significant. However, for Egypt, a gathering of more than 50 people is abnormal - not to mention illegal.
But this was the start of something new - this was Egyptians finding their voice among the noise and pollution and making a very clear statement that calling democracy in name is not experiencing democracy in reality.
The images that have emerged are incredible. Tahrir Square is the first place I went to after arriving in Egypt four years ago. The American University in Cairo was based there, and all around the square are the places where I had classes, learned the twisting roads of downtown, ate koshary and ful, and went on my first dates with the person who will soon become by husband.
In the background of the protests are the coffee shops I went to in between classes, the street I used to live on, the place I bought my first cell phone, and the market I bought fruits and vegetables.
The places on BBC and CNN aren't just images, these are places that will forever be a part of my life and are the places that are my home. I may not have Egyptian blood, I may have not been born or even lived a relatively long time in Cairo, but leaving to go home seems wrong.
We've been hearing reports that the looting going on in Cairo has been carried out by the police, who suddenly and completely disappeared from the streets of Cairo on Friday night. For anyone who has ever ben to Egypt, you would know why this is so strange, it is normally hard to walk more than a few feet without encountering a police officer.
We have also heard reports that the prisons have been intentionally opened by the government.
Cairo has always been one of the safest cities in terms of violent crimes. The places that have been the targets of looting - stores, the duty free, empty malls - seem counter-intuitive to where people with truly criminal intentions would target. For example, none of the embassies or expensive private residences have been vandalized. It just doesn't make sense as to how to completely and suddenly the vandalism and looting took place all across the city.
Mubarak must go. It's really only a question of when. President Obama has been lucky that so far the protests and demonstrations have not become anti-American, but they will quite soon if he does not come out in stronger support of the Egyptian people. If America wants to talk tough about wanting more democracy, they have to get tough and support the changes that have already happened on the streets of Cairo. The people have spoken in a way much louder than any election - they no longer have trust in Hosni Mubarak.
Please support the Egyptian people and support the protests around the world against Mubarak's regime.