Egypt #4

Feb. 3rd, 2011 10:39 pm
[personal profile] imagines
So, Egypt. This ain't a happy post. If you haven't been following it on your own, here's a rundown of the past couple of days. I'm getting my info from Al Jazeera's live blogs for Feb. 2 and Feb. 3, and I myself saw quite a lot of this as it was happening.

Early in the morning (Egypt time) on Feb. 2 in Alexandria, some pro-Mubarak protesters attacked anti-Mubarak protesters. I use the term "pro-Mubarak protesters" extremely loosely, as a stack of evidence points to them being paid to do this. Whether they truly support Mubarak, I couldn't say.

In the afternoon, conflict exploded in Tahrir Square in Cairo. I got the impression the Alexandria attacks were quite tiny and localized; the Tahrir ones were much larger. The pros surrounded the antis in the square. Sometime during the afternoon or night, the antis built barricades out of doors and I guess whatever else they could find, because the pros were shooting live bullets and hurling Molotov cocktails. Against the antis' ammo Yeah.

I was watching this live, and, just, fuck. I've never seen anything like it. There was at least one person Al Jazeera had on the phone who said they couldn't leave if they wanted to, because there was no way out. They had to stay the night in the square, under siege, men and women and children, all ages.

Egypt's Health Ministry gave numbers of 13 dead, 1,200 injured. And the fight continued during the next day, but it seemed like the focus shifted slightly from attacking protesters to attacking journalists. A number of major news organizations have had people disappear, get arrested, get beaten, or some combination.

And still the Tahrir Square protesters are keeping on. They aren't letting it out of their control. I have never before watched anything like this.

The reason I keep watching is that I want to make absolutely fucking certain that whatever happens doesn't happen in secret. Whether it goes beautifully, or whether everything goes to hell, I want to see it. I want to know that I saw it with my own eyes and that I will never forget it as long as I live.

Live feeds are really hard to find right now. It's not safe for journalists. I'm now getting most new info from Twitter.

Assortment of links. I'm sorry, I can't really write commentary, I feel numb from everything I have been seeing. I'm in information-overload and I'm so scared for these people.

The current livepost at ONTD_P.

The War on the Media in Egypt

Google doc of casualties (27 names right now)

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

U.S. Lawmakers Weigh Ending Aid Until Mubarak Out

[eta: One more before I glue myself to AJE again. @Sandmonkey's account of why they're protesting & what's been happening. Heartwrenching & chilling. @Sandmonkey's twitter MAY have been regime-hacked--not sure but I saw a report he can't access it anymore. Who even fucking knows. They've played dirty before.]

As I write, it's 6:30 am in Cairo, 4th of Feb. After Friday prayers, which apparently are at noon, it's meant to be the "Day of Departure." (Mubarak's departure, that is.) Something big will probably happen. I hope to hell it doesn't get ugly, but for fuck's sake, it's already gotten ugly. I don't know what's going to happen.

I'm not sure what location this is, but it gives me hope and so I'm gonna post it.

Muslims, Christians, we are all Egyptians...

Love to you all. ♥ If you have any questions, ask... I have collected a truly insane number of links and might be able to help you out.

Date: 2011-02-04 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nice break down. Do you have the source for that picture? I'd love to post it. It's one of the good things I've seen come out of this protest. They keep talking about how peaceful protests have turned violent and how hard it is to stay non-violent when you're being attacked. It's frightening and I hope Americans are watching and learning. We're sheltered and pampered but this is what it really looks like when you have to fight for what you believe in.

Date: 2011-02-04 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Damn, knew I forgot something. @3arabawy linked to it ( Not sure whether he took it himself, though.

Here's a related photo (, definitely taken by @NevineZaki, if you want one with a definite source.

how hard it is to stay non-violent when you're being attacked

Hell yeah. :/ There's probably people who think it was somehow wrong for the protesters to throw rocks that one night when they were hiding behind barricades in Tahrir Sq., but ffs they were GETTING SHOT AT. I feel like in the grand scheme of things, getting shot at is a valid reason to throw some rocks. o_O

There's some discussion in ontd_p comments about how watching this could affect how we ourselves protest. I think... I hope it does. I've only been to a few protests, but the way we do it in my city, they're a couple of hours long in one or maaaaybe several specific places, and then everyone goes home. (Repeat once weekly as needed.) It's not a BAD way to protest--it gets people's attention quite well--but I do wonder what would happen if we had week(s)-long sit-ins. I mean holy crap. Do any of us get that intense about anything? Would 2 million of us get that intense?

Date: 2011-02-04 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the link.

Well, for one thing, the country is so divided on some of the more emotional issues, that I'm not sure we could unite on something to get that intense about. I have this theory that I'd love to write about sometime that cites Sesame Street as the catalyst for the changing attitudes towards things like equality and acceptance. And how the generation that is now grandparents raised their children to be tolerant and accepting of things they themselves are not yet ready to accept. And that the majority of resistance, the reason things like gay marriage keep getting voted down, is that longer life spans have allowed that intolerance to hang around and be backed by money. But the crazy part of all that is that this is how they raised their children. WE are the products of their upbringing. They taught us to accept even though they couldn't because they inherently know it's right.

Ignore my crazy ramblings. It's just weird being a daughter and a mother in these changing times. It's like every day I watch the world change around me. Not just in Egypt by in my immediate world too.
Edited Date: 2011-02-04 09:11 pm (UTC)



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