Politics & Policy

Tahrir Square Still Flooded

…not with anti-Mubarak protesters anymore, obviously, but with celebrations, and demonstrators making new demands:


CAIRO: Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians flocked in Tahrir Square on Friday in a gathering reminiscent of the 18-day-long demonstrations that led president Hosni Mubarak to step down on Feb 11.

On Feb. 18, dubbed the “Friday of Victory,” people came to celebrate the ouster of Mubarak after 30 years in power and to reiterate their demands for reform. They also wanted to honor over 365 killed in protests.

Before Friday prayers, a military band played a variety of national and patriotic songs to the cheers of the growing crowd.

Sherif Ismail, 30, came to Tahrir with his three children “to honor the martyrs who died for our freedom.”

Families of some of the martyrs were also present at the square.

“I want people to remember those who sacrificed their lives for them,” Amal Mohamed Gaber, 47, whose son Ahmed, 19, was shot dead with live ammunition in a protest on Jan. 31.

Leila Abdel Kerim, a 39-year-old housewife and mother of four, came to celebrate with her family.

“We’ve come to celebrate and I’m against all the employees who went on strike especially now demanding reform and increase in salaries,” Abdel Kerim’s husband, Mohamed Abdel Rahman, 37, told Daily News Egypt. “Things won’t improve overnight. The revolution isn’t a magic lamp that will immediately solve the people’s problems.”

“We need to be productive now and rebuild our country,” Abdel Rahman added.Mostafa, nine, said this was the first time he’s ever come to Tahrir Square.

“I’ve come to celebrate the victory of all the Egyptian people,” he said.

Others called on the army to implement their demands for reform and democracy, including the annulment of the emergency law, the formation of a new government instead of the one handpicked by the ousted Mubarak, the release of the detainees and the prosecution of those responsible for killing protesters.