Egypt Revolts: Day Eight
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011: the million man march day
A new month and a new hope; if anyone hasn't considered this to be a revolution yet, then they did today. Because simply, today was the day of the million revolutionaries. Not just one million; Tahrir had at least two millions, Alexandria had more than a million, and all other cities had huge protests. Very huge ones. Egypt was full of hope, full of life, full of power today. Egypt had a festival for freedom today. More than a million, from all walks of life, were together in one place today, and no one was pick-pocketed , no one was sexually harassed, no fights were started. It was totally peaceful, filled with resilience, optimism, smiles, and even jokes. This isn't ending in any way before the regime and its head falls, today made everybody sure of this. Our revolution will go on until it wins.
CNN described our revolution as unprecedented and epic, and in Tahrir, they put up a stage today, singers sang songs about Egypt, poets said poetry, many gave speeches, and many good old songs were played. It was a real festival with lots of smiling faces. The chants were so loud, I'm sure they moved the ground under the revolutionaries' feet. I'm so mad at myself for falling for rumors; I missed today's million man march, that I'm not even sure if this would happen again, because of silly rumors. I promised myself to go tomorrow, whatever happens I must be part of this, I can't just stay home anymore. What could happen worse than what happened on Rage Friday? How can I take part in that and not go to Tahrir? I'm going tomorrow.
Now to what happened today, other than the very very spirit-lifting protests. I went down today to see what's going on in the streets around us. I saw the neighborhood committees getting ready to leave. I saw our building, and all buildings around us having cars put at their entrances. I saw Mirghany street closed by barbed wires and tanks right after Heliopolis club's gates. The streets around us were all opened except the one leading to Mubarak's residence, which was also closed by barbed wire and a HUGE tank that looked like nothing I've seen. The soldiers there were very polite, they've I asked me where I was going, I said that I live here and was just looking around and they've let me look.
Today, there was a meeting between the government, Wafd and Tagamoa parties and some others to decide on a dialogue between the regime and the so called opposition. The plan is to tell Mubarak to transfer all his authorities to his vice president, this is not accepted by the revolutionaries though. Of course, it's too late for that now, it's too late for any dialogue. Some minister has just made an announcement that they're going to work against unemployment, inflation and taxes. Compromises are increasing, but of course, nothing will stop the protesters except the falling of Mubarak's regime.
The regime's thugs closed all roads leading to Cairo from all cities so as not to allow people to reach Tahrir. They were stupid enough to think that there's noway that a million Cairns would protest. This lead to even more protesters in the streets, thanks for your stupidity it always helps. There are news about pro-Mubarak protest starting, a very small one though.
Arabeya and BBC Arabic are anti revolution; they keep saying that there are disputes between Baradei and the rest, even after they've called and said that it isn't true. State TV said that one of the shops that sell military clothes was broken into and clothes were stolen. Hope this isn't true, this wouldn't be good at all, it might be a plan to divide between people and the army by having thugs wear the military clothes and kill protesters or something.
Baradei met today with the U.S. ambassador, he also asked the military, formally, to meet the demands of the people. I'm hoping that this is what they were waiting for. Speaking of the U.S., the former U.S. ambassador is coming to Egypt to meet with Mubarak and the opposition to try to find a solution for the situation.
Tahrir was very organized today, whoever went there was searched before getting in and they've checked their IDs to make sure they're not police or NDP. This was done by both the army and the people. The very optimistic revolutionaries have been chanting that today is the last day, that he'll be leaving today, that today will be the day we celebrate. When that didn't happen, they were still optimistic and resilient, they still said he'll leave very soon.
We’re experiencing an AMAZING revolution, a revolution that Egypt and the Arab world have ever witnessed throughout modern history. Egyptians have really broken the fear factor. I’m really lucky to be alive and witnessing this, and sharing it with the real Egyptians who are back even though the government has tried to kill all the good in them.
There were news in Al Arabeya about an activist called Wael Ghonim, who's head of the marketing department at Google MEA. He's disappeared on Rage Friday and no-one knows where he's gone. I hope they didn't kill him. There are also many reports saying that he's the admin of Kolena Khaled Saeed, no proof about it though. Whoever he is, I hope he returns safely to his family.
And the internet is still cut off across all Cairo; only one ISP is working which has a very small number of subscribers. This ISP is working because it's used by the stock market, even though the stock market has been closed since last Thursday noon. Life is getting very hard without an internet connection, I need to reconnect with the world, looks like we won't have a connection until Mubarak leaves. Google and Twitter have made a very nice service; it's called Speak2Tweet. It works as follows: people call an international number, say their tweet, the service changes the speech to text, adds a hashtag of the country we're calling from and tweets it in a special account.
They revolution coalition; the youth groups who started the revolution and others, said that their demands, that have to be met before they go home, are:
- The resignation of Muabrak
- A transitional government
- The dissolving of the parliament
- A new constitution
- For the military to protect the country
I have to say that if it hasn't been for the whole country going out together from all across Egypt it wouldn't have made this huge echo all around the world. It's been said that eight million revolutionaries took the streets today, which is more than the number that voted for Mubarak in the 2005 elections. This makes Mubarak an illegitimate president.
After this wonderful day, Mubarak came out to us tonight, one hour before midnight (why does he always speak that late?) and depressed us again. His tone has changed this time, he seemed scared but of course no change in his words. He said that he never planned to run for presidency in the next elections, but that of course he won’t leave until next elections. He’ll change articles 76 and 77 of the constitution which put a time limit to the presidency and change who can be elected for presidency. He said that he wants to be buried in Egyptian soil, that's why he won't leave! Tahrir simply answered by chanting LEAVE, and this is how the day ended.