Today more people than ever are in Tahrir. Infact, those whom had previously never taken part in the demonstrations kicked it up a notch. What was it like inside the heart of the protests?
Everyone was selling Egyptian flags, wigs, sweat bands and even food/drinks like thermos, tea, balady bread, etc. It was like a carnival.
For all the reports on the safety of foreigners, I encountered numerous smiles and tons of greetings. I also had an Egyptian flag and many people wanted to take pictures.
Before entering Tahrir Square from the Asr el Nil bridge (the lion bridge to Zamalak), there were two security check points. I had my expired passport in hand because I didn’t want my valid passport to be stolen. I was pulled aside and questioned by an official: What are you doing in Egypt? Are you a journalist? Why is your passport expired?
I’m studying Arabic. I didn’t want to bring my valid passport in case it was stolen.
Questions continued. Then I said, “Ana shobraweya” (I’m from Shobra). He laughed as did everyone else and I was given the okay.
I met back up with my colleague as he had to go through a different line (females must be patted down by other females). The army personnel were in high spirits shaking hands with everyone, laughing and joking.
Shoulder to shoulder I made my way to the other side of the square toward Hardees waiting for another friend. Phone reception was in and out. Speakers were set up all throughout the square, people were on light posts, railings, shoulders, etc. all chanting different cheers that meant the same: Leave Hosni. In yesterday’s blog post I begged people just standing around to pick up trash and what do you know – for the first time I saw Egyptians – not being told nor forced – picking up trash.
I stayed approximately three hours before I headed off to locate friends for a ride. When I made my final exit, I saw an old man approach a soldier saying thank you.
Will Mubarak stay or go – that’s a good question. I think that the military is giving cues that perhaps they will take control soon. Just a reminder, military rule is harder to rise against. Just ask the rest of Africa.
Some other photos I took: