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A New Egypt on the Brink of Being Born

Posted on Jul 15, 2011
AP / Amr Nabil

Egyptians—seen from above through camera lens distortion—wave a giant national flag in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on July 8.

By Lauren Unger-Geoffroy

“No [political] parties, no Muslim Brotherhood! The Egyptian people are in the square! La ahzab, la Ikhwan! Al-Sha’b al-Misri fi al-Maydan!

“The blood of the martyrs won’t be wasted,” the crowds chanted.

And variations on chants from the 18 days: “Mish hanemshi elmagless yemshi,” “We’re not leaving, the council is leaving” and “Down with the military rule!”

Considering the surprising lack of American press coverage of the ongoing events in Egypt, I will bring you up to speed here. Days are dense with evolution as Egypt flies through to the next era with the Middle East and the world following in the pull of its momentum.

It was dawn before I returned home from a Tahrir Square still full of men and women and children at 4:30 a.m. enjoying the phenomenon of the people’s revolution territory (and free Wi-Fi). As we passed among the tents and food sellers and stages with revolutionary singers and speakers still going strong, my friends insisted on sitting at a cafe just outside the barrier for a coffee and dialogue. We all checked our Twitter accounts on our BlackBerries and confirmed that Tuesday’s programmed million-person peaceful unified protest and sit-in was another positive achievement.


Square, Site wide
I admit that I have become a nocturnal participant because I am just not sturdy enough to stand the 105-degree temperature of the day shift at Liberation Square, but there is a crowd 24 hours, people from all ages and social and economic backgrounds. Men and women and children, grandmothers and people in religious garb and girls with free hair and wearing jeans.

Fliers read: “Real cleansing. Real government. Real trials.”

The sit-in tents create a phantasmagorical landscape. People rest there in the daytime, out of the heat.

The Muslim Brotherhood is there during the daytime hours with its banner: It only calls for justice. Some of its members stay on at night, unofficially.

The martyrs’ families were there, speaking to the protesters about the agony they have been living during the last five months.

There are political parties and groups distributing surveys, applications and fliers.

Ramy Essam, the revolution’s foremost singer and chant leader, sings on “the liberal stage.”

Lots of speeches, but no one is imposing a cause, though on one stage “The Islamist” famous constitutional jurist Tharwat Badawy was saying the United States and Israel are the main enemies of the revolution. There are five stages at this time in Tahrir Square: Liberal, Islamist, Wafd party, Nasserist party(!?), and a “whatever” stage.

Of course this is the land of rumor, so it may or may not be true that some Muslim Brotherhood members and Youth Revolution coalition members were forced to leave the stage at some point.

Several potential presidential candidates (not Mohamed ElBaradei, though he said he’d speak on CNN) have shown up. There are so many now, including a woman, Bothina Kamel, it’s exponential. Presidential candidate Amr Moussa attended the Friday prayer at Omar Makram Mosque and stayed for a short while at Tahrir Square.

Once again, the natural cooperative organization of the civilian security checkpoints is effective, polite and friendly, as all submit without problem to frisking, bag examination and ID check by groups of perfectly coordinated volunteers, dedicated to a peaceful revolution; one line for women and one for men. Thousands of Egyptians have spontaneously organized themselves without conflict to protect the square.

Al Nahar TV channel showed footage of two thugs with knives arrested at a checkpoint at Tahrir Square.

El Mogamma El Tahrir started working again by the order of the revolution. The Mogamma is the main government building, which was closed down by the protesters, blocking the perhaps thousands of people who must go there daily to do official paperwork. The main groups like 6th April Youth and the Revolution Youth coalition were against the shutdown of this important administrative building, but it turned out well, and the protesters welcomed the employees back with a revolutionary reception of pro-revolution chants and the national anthem.

We are attaining more and more of the people’s demands as the kaleidoscopic mosaic of Egyptian reorganization advances with the push of the massive united people’s revolution.

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By TruthCheck, August 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

If McCain had won, the GOP would have been finished and the same boat the DNC is in right now.  The difference is McCain would have had a opposition party controlling congress for two years while Obama had a loving press and strong majorities of his own party controlling congress for two years…

How is it the DNC with all that power never got a budget passed in two years…

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By gerard, July 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Don’t forget, in Egypt, as everywhere else, there are powerful forces, often behind
the scenes, who want too maintain the status quo ante.  It will take a long time
and a dedicated struggle to institute democratic changes,  The most hopeful
element is, perhaps, that the majority of the population is young and in touch with
others worldwide.

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By AladdinSane, July 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for keeping us updated on the story.  The
mainstream American media is really under-reporting,
and we support true reform in Egypt.  To do that, we
must know what is going on!  Keep it up!

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By ardee, July 17, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

christian96, July 17 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Who started the revolution and what is their
purpose?  What goals are they seeking?

Why betray your ignorance so blatantly?  Do your own homework if politics is what you wish to discuss. You might start by actually reading the damn article.

This guy seems to be inventing a new form, forum stand up comedy.

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By christian96, July 17, 2011 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Who started the revolution and what is their
purpose?  What goals are they seeking?

Report this
Gabriel's avatar

By Gabriel, July 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

More Important News from Egypt:

Everyone by now should know Egyptian museum was pilfered by thieves during uprising til people in Tahrir Square stopped it. What most don’t know is the other 99%.

Ever since Team used Ground Penetrating Radar and discovered further tunnels around Giza Plateau fervor has been building to find related Giza sites, tunnels, entrances, artifacts and technology. Yes, technology.

On the Giza Plateau there have been many illegal digs and MAJOR pilfering of artifacts just before, during and after uprising. Apparently The most significant is Tomb of The Birds:
It appears to be fully tied into tunnel system under whole Giza Plateau.

Reports from locals say officials have found something in front of and down from so-called Khufu Pyramid that prevents them from going any further. This something seems to emit a strong energy force that can be felt 1 km away and may act as a force barrier to other chambers. A building has been constructed over the entrance with high security preventing even the most insistent from breaching it.

This find is told to be HUGE in size and in scope.

USA, Israel, Japan, China, EU, Russia and just about every G8 and G20 power are squabbling over it. At the same time keeping hush hush about what they have found. Sources say it’s a “global game changing find”.

To date, related artifacts found have been supposedly traded to global powers-that-be for deals, arms, cash, favors and just about everything to suppress the people. Now even local villagers are being threatened to keep quiet with threats of torture and death.

Stay tuned

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By gerard, July 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

“Once again, the natural cooperative organization of the civilian security checkpoints is effective, polite and friendly, as all submit without problem to frisking, bag examination and ID check by groups of perfectly coordinated volunteers, dedicated to a peaceful revolution; one line for women and one for men. Thousands of Egyptians have spontaneously organized themselves without conflict to protect the square.”
  When any gathering of tens of thousands can achieve this degree of “natural cooperative organization” it indicates a certain amount of inate
will to support nonviolent social change. That in itself is a huge contribution to much-needed knowledge based on experience “in the field.” It verifies the possibility that “dedication to peaceful revolution” may indeed be a built-in part of human nature.
  Believers in violence do not want to admit this or have it publicized broadly.  It upsets their “war is inevitable” cliche—the cornerstone upon which the entire “mystical” edifice of violence is built.

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sofianitz's avatar

By sofianitz, July 16, 2011 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

I have seen a ton of revolutions.

So far, none of them has done any good, with the exception of Cuba, and Nicaragua (maybe, we still have to see).  I don’t see anything in the Egyptian revolution worth supporting.  Some younger middle-class well educated types trying to get a better seat at the great teat of Capitalism.

As an aside, I would mention that the Egyptian “revolutionaries”  have done nothing or said anything that would be worthy of anyone’s support.  Just not worthy, because the ideals that you espouse (if any, what a joke!) are false ideals.

Show the world a little blood, and a little less self-interest.

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By Frosty46, July 16, 2011 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

This could be the beginning of something great.  I’m certain the
US is doing all it can to stir up trouble so our Religious Weapons
manufacturing machine can profit from the blood shed.

Odd, NOT, our news machine is hiding all this thoughtful
evolution of Democracy in Egypt.  But then they are tied so
closely to the Weapons Manufacturing Machine perhaps it’s safer
not to.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, July 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

New popular, revolutionary movements need to be formed as seen in countries like Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. It’s the only way to defend the revolution. If people stick to a “post-modern,” “no politics” movement, then they will soon be domisticated by the state and its backers in the ruling classes and foreign, imperialist states. In fact, this movement has the potential if going even farther than Latin America and begin forming a society or organized movement similar to those envisioned by Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, July 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

New, popular, revolutionary organizations must be formed as seen in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru etc. A “post-modern” movement which claims to not care for politics is only condemning itself to being crushed by organized forces backed by the ruling classes and outside powers. Some heads are rolling, but the system is desperately fighting to preserve itself, either the masses take power or they will eventually be domisticated by their current rulers. If this mass movement actually starts forming IDEAS, they might even go FARTHER than Latin America and begin establishing the kind of radical, revolutionary democracy envisioned by thinkers like Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin.

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