Sunday, January 25, 2009

At the Inauguration

I wrote a very brief note in Washington DC on the day of Obama's inauguration on January 20th which I sent to some friends. Here it is below with some photographs I took that day:

"It was freezing cold today in Washington DC and I have never experienced this kind of chaos in event management in any developed country. However, I was extremely fortunate to get in to the gates and to witness a palpably historic event. Cold and lack of organization was simply not enough to dampen anybody's enthusiasm.

From the moment I got onto the metro at 7am to head to the Capitol Building to the time that I walked out of the venue at 1pm I was surrounded by an extraordinary bonhomie between people. There were stories on every street corner and I felt lucky to be around it all. As I walked up the escalator on the stop at Judiciary Square there was a girl behind me singing a surreally beautiful Negro Spiritual. The pride of African Americans in particular was clearly evident. The experience seemed to have brought people together and there was a warmth and friendliness amongst strangers that alas is not our normal demeanor. I had a marvellous day on the National Mall today. I hope that the promise of Obama's leadership is realized, even if only in part. He, perhaps unfairly, is the repository of tremendous hopes and expectations. This is a unique point in Amercian history and he carries an immense burden of history on his shoulders.We will have to see if he is up to the task.

I want to thank my Haverford friend Gendi who wrote to me while I was waiting in line to get in after seeing my Status Update on FB. His father was on the same flight as Obama's father when they both came to study in the US under a program sponsored by Senator John F Kennedy for Kenyan students to study in the US."



1 comment:

Yawar said...

Fawad, you were in DC? I was there for three and a half years and I just got back. Coincidence!