Even that Tuesday, a pattern had begun to emerge. The beating was always fiercest in the first few minutes, an aggressiveness that Colonel Qaddafi’s bizarre and twisted four decades of rule inculcated in a society that feels disfigured. It didn’t matter that we were bound, or that Lynsey was a woman. But moments of kindness inevitably emerged, drawing on a culture’s far deeper instinct for hospitality and generosity. A soldier brought Tyler and Anthony, sitting in a pickup, dates and an orange drink. Lynsey had to talk to a soldier’s wife who, in English, called her a donkey and a dog. Then they unbound Lynsey and, sitting in another truck, gave Steve and her something to drink.
Photo: ANTHONY SHADID. The reporter, middle right, interviewed residents of Imbaba, a lower-class neighborhood of Cairo, on Feb. 2, during the days of street demonstrations leading to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. (Credit: Ed Ou for The New York Times)