Yesterday the 25th of January thousands of protests started at 1:30 pm all over the country just to express the demands of a wide sector of the population – 85 million estimated -. The demands were mainly about how they need a law to enforce a minimum wage of 1200 Egyptian Pounds – aprox. $210 USD – as well as a compensation for the unemployment of 500 Egyptian Pounds – aprox. $87 USD – so it can guarantee at least getting food. I will be describing in this post what I have been going through starting before the 25th of January till my last day in details as a witness to all what happened in my beloved Egypt.
As the awaited date of the 25th was approaching people have been dividing into two groups – who are with and who are against the claimed revolution – you can see people making fun of the idea to start a revolution by an event on facebook, to people who are so against the government but so afraid of any sudden change which may lead to catastrophic consequences such as –but not limited to – ruling with the Islamic sharia incase of the muslim brotherhood party taking over.
Stayed awake till about 4 am, 25th January awaiting any information about the places where there will be huge gatherings so I can tell my friends and go. Stayed on twitter posting nearly 1000 tweets full of optimism and enthusiasm wondering about how successful the first day will be. Full of happiness from the huge support and of course I personally was afraid but didn’t want to show it so I don’t scare people away although I can sense that everyone had this little fear inside but still we were all focused and ready to go and make the change. At some point we were all referring to the acts as “the protests” not a revolution to avoid those people who keep making fun of our enthusiasm. Woke up at about 7 am still on the internet having no clue where to go until I found two friends on twitter who live in the same area and they were searching for some company and directions as well; so I took the car, picked them up and headed towards down town to go to Tahrir. The kournish – the road on the river nile – was blocked by security forces and they forced us to take a right so of course I got lost the moment I took that right and stayed over the phone with friends from twitter as well for about an hour to try to get out of the area and finally I ended up somehow in Mohandeseen where there was a huge protest about to start.
The protests that went in the Mohandeseen area in cairo from Gamet Eldewal street passing through Elbatal ahmed abdelaziz street heading towards Tahrir square which translates (liberation square) where this area witnessed a lot of the glorious movements in the country. The protesters were over 5000 and when we reached at the Galaa Bridge where it crosses the Nile river to get to Tahrir square; Central Security Forces separated us where they let about 3000 go to Tahrir and kept another 2000 behind not letting them pass on the bridge. After about 2 hours of protesting to let us pass the bridge to join our friends they started hitting the front lines with wooden sticks to keep them from passing the bridge. We kept chanting “Why there are a lot of security forces, isn’t this peaceful or what?”, “peaceful, peaceful” and finally we sang the Egyptian national anthem. I was amazed by the number of women, girls, elderly and youth who were with us. I felt as if the whole population with all its diversity sent those 2000 protesters who were with me on the bridge to ask for their rights.
My parents kept calling me of course asking where i were but i came up with lame excuses to stay.
Afterwards, people took another bridge called 6th of October to get to Tahrir sq. chanting “down down Hosni Mubarak”, after they got there other protesters started joining singing the national Egyptian anthem as well as chanting against the NDP and the president. The CSF – Central Security Forces – left the protesters in the tahrir sq. to chant and protest as they wanted without any interference where the area appeared more of a huge festival more than a gathering of people angry at their government and their president. Simply everyone was happy, running around the square and chanting although the government jammed all the mobile signals in the whole area to avoid the communication between protesters and the outside. This was my first time ever to join a protest and I was a bit stupid to take a heavy jacket with me – which I still can’t get back from ezzat baligh :@ @M_baligh on twitter plz ask him to bring me my jacket – and my laptop as well so I had a killing back pain from carrying them around and I had to leave.
When the CSF knew that the protesters decided that they will stay all night and they won’t leave the square until their demands get accepted; they actually left them without any interference. Suddenly at about 11:50 pm without any warning the area looked as if it there is a war and the protesters were the enemies. The CSF started throwing tear gas canisters everywhere and shooting rubber bullets!! There were a lot of injuries and some of them were severe, for example, one of the canisters fell down on a protester’s head and he had to go to the hospital for a very risky surgery!
After seeing this scene for the first time in my life describing how I felt at this moment would be more than difficult as I was shocked and disappointed. Thoughts and questions keep turning in my head faster and stronger than a tornado or a tsunami. Why the hell would they do that to us? We didn’t do any harm to anyone! After the tahrir sq. got evacuated according to Wael Abbas the CSF set a car on fire so that they would say the next day that we burned it to give them an excuse for what they did L
When I realized that I was frustrated and scared to death that people might actually buy their story; but, after seeing how thousands of thousands gathered for the protest, people started getting on our side as we don’t trust the government at all usually and specially after reading the governmental news paper “AlAhram” where the headline was “100 people went out to celebrate the day with the police officers who gave them chocolates”!! WHAT A SHAME!
We stayed that day – me, cvirus, amira nosier, nada ghoneim and many others – in a café afterwards so we can rest a little before going home discussing and expecting what would happen on the next days as we expected after jamming the mobile signals in Tahrir sq. they would block all the social media on the internet so they can manipulate the world and protect themselves. We kept following the news everywhere and how each city is doing and who got arrested, who got released etc…
We were more than proud when we heard what happened in “Mahalla” a city in the northern part of the country where the CSF couldn’t do any harm to the protesters and the people took control of everything.
On the 25th in the morning I remember well Ismail Elshaer the head of the security force of Cairo, he released a statement saying that he is with the protests and with any peaceful demonstrations, but after meeting with Mohamed Adel the activist from 6th of April movement I learned that on the 25th Ismail Elshaer himself has beaten him and insulted him badly which made me not only feel the hatred and disgust from this bastard but to get more determined that this kind of human beings in Egypt must get sued.
Finally went home at about 4 am, and that was my day on Jan25. More to come soon J …