Egypt (Revolution)

March 3, 2011

"Toward a new civil society"
This big Friday protest was a fascinating blend of a happy celebration of
triumph and a serious renewal of their determination to realize all the goals
of the "January 25 Revolution."  While the focus was on Egypt, there was
plenty of recognition of revolutions being attempted throughout the region.

Mo. Hanafi, my excellent volunteer translator, and
well informed, thoughtful young man; he took the
bus from his hometown to spend the day at Tahrir
Sq. My t-shirt text declares "I love Egypt." Note in
the background: the tall Ramses Hilton from which
CNN and others filmed many events in the square,
the long pinkish Egyptian Museum, and the burned
headquarters of the hated National Democratic Party.

One of many who photographed the Arabic t-shirt on the rare nonEgyptian in Tahrir Square

Many calls for corrupt officials to be held accountable
often with a mocking and humorous twist
Starring, in their final season, the cast of Arab dictators

One of several makeshift stages with no shortage
of people ready to speak and rally the crowds

Dozens of the old Libyan flags were waved in support of Egypt's neighbors.

Tens of thousands of very friendly people,
including many families with young children,
with not a single policeman or soldier in sight

Starting the noon prayers with a short sermon where
the imam said "let no one divide Muslims and Christians!"

View from the Semiramis Hotel as the Friday demonstrations began to assemble

Egypt is rich in history, but this time the history is now, not ancient.
I spoke with many dozens of English-speaking Egyptians and with
dozens more via translators. Without exception, they were understandably
somewhat wary about what the upcoming elections will bring, but they
were not letting that concern diminish their astonishment and 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 old campus next to Tahrir Square

The enthusiastic and engaged audience at the Tahrir Dialogue
discussing democracy in post-revolutionary Egypt

Interview for a Cairo newscast

All-day workshop and brainstorming with GW Prof. Sean Aday
on new coverage of forthcoming campaigns and free elections
"Good Morning": a popular morning TV talk show in Cairo

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

Discussing the vital role of the news media
in the critical upcoming election campaigns