Thursday, February 09, 2012

Another Night in Tahrir Sqaure !!




When Egyptian did their upraising in January, it was called " Camel Revolution" in some media reports, it wasn't fare from reality, the forthcoming change might go on Camels' steps pace, but surly it's coming. 

It's 24th Nov med-night, it's not the first night for me to sleep in Tahrir Square,I did that before in 25th January and in 30th January, in the very first days of Egyptian Upraising.

Now, 10 months later, It's deja vu all over again, people still have the same demands, " freedom, dignity and social justice," just one more urgent demand was added " fair trails for people who killed Egyptian Revolutionaries".

More smiling faces hanging all over the square, another 40 martyrs passed away in less than a week, killed by polices and allegedly militaries personals, many of them got suffocated by toxic tear gas.

It's the same Mubarak regime's police, SCAF's version this time, reacting in the same way it did back. In January Egyptians asked Mubarak to leave, the response was a promise to change the government, and this was SCAF's  response for people demands of handing over the power to civilian government, to even provoke people more, SCAF choose Prime Minister served Mubarak and 78 year old.

The police attack in 19th November aimed end the set in, many of strikers were injurers of the 25th January, whose been neglected by SCAF.  Many injurers have been left behind facing their fate, losing their jobs, and can't afford the cost of health care, dispute of financial support and establishing the " 25th January Revolution Martyrs and Injurers  Fund" under auspices of Prime Minister, little has been done on the ground, for example, a dentist who lost one eye in 28th January, has been compensated by LE 20.000, equal to US $ 3300, now he is not able to practice medicine 
any more.


 when the police forces attacked Tahrir  Square in dawn in 19 Nov, 2011, Central Security Forces shot him in the other eye and he is now blind, his response to that was " I'd rather live blind in dignity than live in vision without dignity" !!
22 November, I joint a group of youth in charge of receiving donations of food and medical supplies and redistribute it between the thirteen field hospitals in and around Tahrir square and also between the strikers.

Before med-night I walked with a small group of them for just less a one humored meters to reach one hospital, as soon as we got there, the police started bombing tear gas very close to the hospital, it's much worse this time  than the kind police used in 25th January, we all rushed into next door traveling company, along with doctors and helpers who carried unconscious patient, once we got in, one man turned off the light " please turn it on we need to treat the patient" one doctor screamed " I can't the police will come and might distort the company" the man, who works for the company said.

" it's THE third time the police target hospitals today, what they want us to do, leave the patients behind? leave the Square that won't happen" said one doctors angrily.


When I tried the get back to my spot, I couldn't breath, the air smiled horrible, the protecting mask didn't help at all, the pain in my eyes was bearable, although I was offered help from scattered men and women with a special spry nullifies the effect of tear gas, 5 minutes later I saw two men carried two fainted women to my spot trying to  help them.

Everybody in the square had Inflamed eyes, wearing masks, for me it didn't seem like a true scene in my life, it seemed like a scene from the science fiction movies, when an attack would happen in your town from unidentified creatures from the space.

It was the same Mubarak's police that killed 1000 Egyptians 10 months ago, now it's back to kill another 40 - some said more - Egyptians human and injuring 3000 thousands in 5 days, the question up in the air was " why they doing that, why the Army is not stopping CSF? and what next?"

Many theories were coming in the aside discussions from people.

" The Army not able to stop the Police Forces !!" said one well-educated demonstrator " But they did stop them and take over the Headquarters of Ministry Of Interior MOI by the morning of the Friday 29th, January, next day of the Day of Anger in 28t, January !! right?" replied another demonstrator and continued " it's all about stick in power, the Army doesn't want to hand over power and turning the whole scene into chaos helps the theory that Egypt needs SCAF and it's national duty to stay in power to protect the county."

Political science professor said " why the demonstrators going to the Headquarters of MOI, that provokes the police and make them act in that way," the same theory has been promoted by the state-run TV, which make the state-TV again under attack in the social media and bring calls for occupy maspiro ( the location of state-TV).


" No, it's not about MOI, the police targeting people in the middle of the square by tear gas and frequently targeting the hospitals." said another demonstrator.That night I was collapsed from the flue and exhaustion with other female activists in the square.

At this night, People in Tahrir represented Egypt, as it is, people came from every age from every social strata political views. Diversity wasn't only among people. It was in the type of technology they were using to spread the word about what was happening in Tahrir, I met a boy, 11 years using his IPad " do you know of someone who has IPhone or IPad charger" he asked me as soon as I got close to him. Few steps away there was a young man using another IT "something", " what is this?" I asked him, " do you know of Samsong's galaxy or IPad, it's something like that but from BlackBerry, it's Playbook" he replayed.


What struck me indeed, my a new fiend, a mass communication student, who was helping in distributing food & medical supplies in the square, in the middle of our conversation she told me suddenly that she has an exam at 8 am, that was around 3 am, she is not special case, it's med-term exam time in Egypt and most of the youth already going through exams.


One of them is another young friend of mine who is engaged, when I asked her when she will get married, her answer was " well, every time I try to get something done in the apartment, a curtain or a paining, something happen, the revolution has the propriety" when she walked away to deliver medicine supply I read that in a sticker on her back " Martyr on demand" on her back !

This friend belongs to a well-off family, engaged, well educated and she is risking her life to help people in the square, that prove that the country is waking up and lots of innocent soules ready

Walking down the squareI hared a young man wearing humble and not clean cloths saying to his fellow, " what will happen ? we will have to eat bread only? we got used to it," another guy were talking to his fellow about the Field Marshal Tantawi " he has to go, he gave falls testimony - in Mubarak trial- how come no one told him to kill the protesters if he said he refused to do that earlier ? " The demonstrator asked his fellow Egyptian.

People of the square in November 2011, a bit the same a bit different than People of the square ten months earlier, back then it was the young, educated, New media users, who want to correct the so many wrongs going on in the country, along with the activists from all ages and long time heroes of opposition groups, before Muslimbrotherhood follow suits and join, now you can see Egyptians from all walks of live.

What is not so bright in Tahrir this time, that Mubarak regime's thugs switched their strategy, back in February they did a Camel battle to chase people out of the square in the third of February, this time thugs doing a harassment battle against female protesters every day, or one hand to give a bad image about Tahrir Utopia, for the other to scare Egyptian women who did tremendous role in the revolution and keep them away from the square.

In the very first days of revolution there was famous chant " Egyptians and Army is one hand "! how Egyptian people lost trust in their army?

It started early in March 9th, when the Army along with the police ended forcibly the set in, and then in April 9th, and then accusing youth political movement by betraying the county and giving media statements that contradict each other, one famous statement by Major General Hassan Al-Rowini, Commander of the central Military zone said on air "Yes I spread roamers in the Tahrir square", forgetting that this generation has a collective digital memory, and every statement recorded by Egyptian YouTubers.''

Among this gloomy scene of having between 40 and 80 Egyptians lost their life in November and, news coming that Egyptian authority receiving 70 tones of tear gaze coming to Egypt, there are some bright glimpse, the first stage of election brought some promising faces alongside the old well known ones.


That people not planing to keep silent any more, and willing to give hand not only by chanting in Tahrir Square, but by paying from their pocket to support revolution, I saw flood of food and medicine donations coming to Tahrir in November, calling for donation from activist on twitter were replaced by " we have enough, don't send us more".

Social media gaining more and more influence to balance the state run media propaganda machine, people are not afraid any more, more important that Egypt now has a different  demographic structure than this of 1952 when the Military cope was praised by people and got ultimate public support for the coming 6 decades,  and with the internet it's not hard to read the international reports about the business of Egyptian Army and the role it has played in privatization era, which showed that the high ranked generals had shares in the privatized public companies or top managing positions in the privatized one. 

When Egyptian did their upraising in January, it was called " Camel Revolution" in some media reports, it wasn't fare from reality, the forthcoming change might go on Camels' steps pace, but surly it's coming. 

 Special thanks to Ursula Lindsey for editing this post 

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