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A New Egypt on the Brink of Being Born
Posted on Jul 15, 2011
“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.
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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