Friday, February 04, 2011

Scenes from the Egyptian Revolution - 1

Egyptians are brilliant heroes ... on Friday the 28th when the police deliberately disappeared and prisoners were released/fleed/were forced to flee the prisons, we had some moments of terror. We heard gunshots in the empty streets and in many areas armed thugs were roaming freely and vandalising shops. It was another brutal step from the Egyptian police which serves two purposes at least: to scare people from joining the massive, unprecedented protests, and to imply to some gullible people that the protesters brought about this violence and chaos. Totally not true. The police started the violence by shooting live ammunition at armless protesters, as expected. They thought they could suppress the people's will, obviously enraging them instead.

On Saturday, even before night fell, we found the neighbourhood mosque sending an urgent message through its minaret. The Mu'ezin urged young people to protect the neighbourhood a la Tunisia and immediately many young men organised themselves quickly and stood holding sticks at the entrances of the neighbourhood and checking cars and everyone going in or out. It was amazing ... Yes! The minarets which Switzerland banned! The minarets which "causes sound pollution"! It was used to protect the neighbourhood and immediately gather people for safety measures. I called my friends to check on them and all of the mosques and young men in their neighbourhoods had the exact same tactics.

That night, I slept most peacefully and deeply. Throughout the night I saw young men relentlessly patrolling the streets and guarding me and my family just because we are neighbours. I saw young men prove they are capable of rebuilding this country which Mubarak's regime has systematically been ruining for long.

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