Egypt Revolts: Day Eleven
Departure Friday, February 4th, 2011 (only a name)
I started my day filled with optimism, although the first piece of news I heard was that state TV spread rumors that Revolutionaries are leaving the squares today. I was filled with optimism because minutes later, I got to know that yesterday's sit-ins were bigger than any other day's. That even though it was still early, the numbers were increasing very quickly. Mubarak didn't leave today, but I'm still filled with optimism and positivity, I know he'll be leaving very soon. I know we're stronger than him, I'm sure that belief is stronger than any weapon. And I'm so proud to say "we", I'm so proud to be part of all this.
Muslim Brotherhood said that they have no intentions for running for presidency, that they want a secular government and that they aren't trying to ride any waves. I'm starting to respect them. They're also the ones who organize all the searching at the entrances of Tahrir and all other squares, and they did a great job Wednesday's battle. Who knows? They might be good, maybe I was wrong about them, maybe I didn't know them well. Maybe they do deserve to be respected after all.
Our Taxi driver was a very worried man, although he was very pro democracy. He was worried about his family that he had to leave everyday to get them money, he was worried that he wouldn't be able to have enough money to feed them. But he wanted the best for Egypt. He kept saying prayers, and made us promise him to stay safe and leave if we ever feel it's not secure enough. It's at these moments when you believe you're doing the right thing. That man almost thanked us for trying to get Egyptians' rights, although we were only three out of many millions and only protesting like everyone else. He said he wished he could go with us, but he has to work to be able to feed his children, but that he totally supports the revolution.
We reached Tahrir today minutes before Friday prayer started, I have to admit that I was worried after what had happened in the past two days, but of course being there, I was again feeling very confident that nothing could happen to us. Why? Because it was still around 12:00 and there was almost no place to stand. I prayed in the street today, next to men, with my shoes on, but I have never felt a connection as strong with God, I have never felt that I was asking for something that came from that deep within me.
Christians protected us while we prayed, like they always did. Since the numbers were huge in Tahrir, not everyone was able to hear the sheikh, so when he said Allaho Akbar, everyone shouted Allaho akbar after him. The sound moved the ground, if Mubarak's gang heard us today, I'm sure we've made them super scared. People were very organized, everything was moving as clockwork. We prayed Salat El Gha'aeb for the martyrs, everyone was crying, it was so heartbreaking. The energy was amazing, even those who aren't religious would have felt this today. After we've finished, the whole square chanted together; "el sha3b yoreed eskat el nezam". This felt like an earthquake, everyone chanted together perfectly.
Tahrir was very clean, very organized, very civilized. Numbers increased and might have even reached two million. Positivity was in the air even more than on Wednesday, everyone was standing strong. By midday, we all knew that Mubarak will probably won't leave today, but everyone was stayed optimistic and resilient. Tahrir was as filled with humor as it has always been. And of course, when I say Tahrir, I'm not only talking about Tahrir Square in Cairo only, because there were tens of Tahrir squares all over Egypt. Today, and as it has always been, every Egyptian city had a Tahrir of its own.
Right after the prayers, some woman came to us, said she came alone and wanted to stay with us, five minutes later, we were already good friends. A while later, we were standing with my cousin and her two sons and our new friend. A man came and asked us; have you ever walked in the streets if Cairo without being afraid of being sexually harassed? We said no, he said it’s only here that you can walk knowing that you’ll never be sexually harassed. Some of the people here would be harassing outside Tahrir. Why? Another came in and said; because before January 25th they had nothing to do with their lives, but now, they have something to fight for, they have a cause. Of course, this is no reason for them to harass, but it's as sign that sexual harassment can go very soon. The circle kept increasing and increasing and people talked about how good this is. Bottom line is, in Tahrir everyone talks to everyone, everyone respects everyone, everyone is smiling, everyone has high spirits, everyone is proud to be a revolutionary.
Five young men were standing by us and suddenly they started cheering and shouting and laughing. We saw two young men coming their way, they started hugging each other. One of the five said “ento lessa 3aysheen”? Apparently they were detained yesterday and were released today and headed right back to Tahrir.
The numbers today were around 8 million across the country, and he still didn't leave. His plan was to exhaust everyone, to have them either go to work or get fired, to make them revolt until they get bored. The organizers planned a week of resistance, with three million man marches on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. From what I saw today, I believe no one will get bored, no one will leave until Mubarak leaves, and he WILL leave.