“There has been a high level of anxiety in our family over the last month or so because I have a sister who lives in Cairo and a brother who lives in Bahrain.
“My sister is married to an American diplomat and has lived in Egypt for about 12 years. She has 3 grown up children (the youngest is 24) who also live in Cairo. My brother in Bahrain works for an American company and has been there for about 7 years.
“It was somewhat worrying when it became impossible to contact my sister by any means for about a week. But as systems were restored I was relieved to talk to her and find that they were all ok.
“Despite the turmoil they never felt threatened or in any danger. According to my sister a couple of tanks rolled down their street one day and the police guard outside their building disappeared. Other than that the worst problems they had to face were that the supermarket was running out of food and the cash machines were running out of money.
“While all this was going on in Egypt there were already rumblings in Bahrain which gained a huge momentum once Mubarak stepped down.
“Throughout their experiences neither encountered any anti western sentiment. My brother mingled freely with the protesters in Manama last weekend and took photographs. My sister goes alone to the shops or the bank without fear. The atmosphere in both countries is at times almost carnival like. In Bahrain there are many women among the protesters and dozens of children.
“Tunisia's uprising has provoked an irreversible wave that is sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa with an enthusiasm and euphoria that has gripped the ex pat community as well as the citizens. Neither of my siblings is planning to leave their homes and continue to see their futures there with hope and optimism.”
Photographs copyright Tony Murphy.