Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cairo Protests - A Last Visit to Tahrir

At two in the afternoon a noisy bus departed fron Hurghada, heading north to the mighty Egyptian capital. Through dusty windows we watched the desert take shape, with rugged black mountains as a silhuette against the darkening sky. As the burning sun gave in to the coming of a star filled night sky and the Red Sea to our right darkened from exotic turquoise to a more respect-giving maroon wilderness, wild flashes started to light up the sky. Paranoid as ever, I considered the flashes as a bad omen but forced myself to let go of the thought of bad things to come. Turns out, of course, that it was nothing but my paranoia of getting back to Cairo. Relaxing a little, I leaned back and continued to listen to an audio book.

Soon, the harsh black mountains were beaten down by equally dark and looming concrete buildings. The stars disappeared and I had to settle with the depressing apricot-pink smoggy sky. ”Back in the jungle” I thought, ”What will it bring this time?”

We went straight to a rented apartment and I literally collapsed on a rock-hard bed. Sleep refused to come though. Instead I laid awake, or in some kind of semi coma and stirred with every sound from the street or the neighbors – or the movements from the wonderful man lying next to me. The plan was to wake up early. That didn't happen. Late in the afternoon, when the setting sun had started to spread gold over the city, we got in a taxi and headed to Khan al-Khalili to do some last minute shopping. I'd have to go in exile if I came home to Sweden without having brought gifts to all my thousand brothers and sisters.

Once done with the shopping, we found ourselves close to the street where we used to live in Cairo during the revolution; Abdel Khaled Sarwat. We decided to walk the street for good old times, and without my dear Khalid suspecting anything (all was, of course, planned in detail by yours sincerely) on our way to Tahrir Square. It was Friday after all and since the revolution started, every Friday have been called something like ”Friday of Anger/Judgement/Trial.” I couldn't leave Egypt without making one last visit to the place that made history and brought up so many feelings inside me. And what a good choice that was!

Tahrir was just like I remembered it. This very Friday, tens of thousands had turned up to force new life into the revolution and to ”push the country's ruling military council to prosecute the former president, Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down under immense popular pressure on February 11.” According to my experiences during that last visit to Tahrir, they succeeded into blowing life into the people. There were the usual chanting and singing, flags being waved in every direction, faces being painted in the Egyptian colours, people wanting to pose infront of the camera... but I felt that the cheering was louder today.

How can it then be, that later during the night, military started to shoot live fire and teargas?  Two people are said to have been killed. Reports are saying that barbed wire is put up around the square to keep protesters out and that the military and police presence is huge. I'm too tired to think at the moment, but I'll keep you posted of what's going on in Cairo as much as I can through my sources.

As for now, I'll drink up my orange juice and head for the gate in Istanbul Attaturk. In a few hours I'll once again be in cold Sweden.

1 comment:

Lov3 Timor L3st3 said...

Hi, My is Paulo da Costa, From Timor Leste or East Timor (new country in World). Currently i continue my master in Indonesia. Sorry, i put same title like your in blog but with different story. Have a nice day an good Luck.