Egypt ~ Revolution 2011

03 March 2011

This big Friday protest in Cairo was both a celebration of the astonishing "January 25 Revolution" only a few weeks early and an effor to continue to push to see the goals implemented.

Morning view from the Semiramis Hotel as people started to converge on Tahrir Square.

Mo Hanafi was a well informed, thoughtful guy who volunteered to translate for me. He took the bus from his hometown to spend the day at Tahrir Square.

My t-shirt text declares "I love Egypt" and prompted lots of upbeat comments.

Note in the background above: the tall Ramses Hilton (from which CNN and others filmed many events in the square), the long pinkish original Egyptian Museum, and, on the left, the burned headquarters of the widely hated National Democratic Party.

I stood out as a rare nonEgyptian here (plus my Arabic t-shirt was popular)
"Yes, of course, I'm happy if you want to take a photo."

Many called for corrupt officials to be held accountable and mocked them.

Starring, in their final season, the cast of Arab dictators

Around the big square were makeshift stages with plenty of passionate men who wanted to address the crowd.

Libya's pre-Gaddafi flag was waved in opposition to the dictator next door.

On the days I was there, Tahrir had thousands of friendly people, including families with young children, with not a single policeman or soldier in sight.

At the noon prayer where the imam said "let no one divide Muslims and Christians!"

I spoke with dozens of English-speaking Egyptians and others via translators, and I'm not claiming they were a random sample. They were wary about what the upcoming elections will bring, but they were not letting that concern diminish their jubilation at the dramatic success (so far) of their remarkably peaceful revolution.

One of the three panels at the all day "Tahrir Dialogue" sponsored by the
American University of Cairo at the campus next to Tahrir Square

Enthusiasm at the Tahrir Dialogue discussing democracy in post-revolutionary Egypt.

All-day workshop and brainstorming with Prof. Sean Aday and Egyptian journalists regarding news coverage of forthcoming campaigns and free elections

On "Good Morning" (a popular morning TV talk show in Cairo) discussing the key role of the news media in the upcoming election campaign

Second guest is Dr. Dina Wafa of the American University of Cairo.

What an exciting time it was to be in Egypt!