Friday, January 28, 2011

Morning of Jan 28th

My husband & I arrived in Alex from Cairo right just after the Friday prayers.  We were staying with my parents who live in an apartment building on Horria Avenue (between a Police Station & a Gas Station). The streets where deserted. I actually made a bet with my husband. He said, I don’t think anything is going to happen. I said, no something will. Half an hour later I began feeling really embarrassed because it looked like he won. The streets where deserted. There were no officers or cars.

Around 2pm, while we were sitting and having lunch, we started hearing noises. We ran to the balcony. We saw a group coming from the west towards the police station close to our house.  There were about 2,000-3,000 people. They stopped in front of the police station and chanted: “Al sha3b Youreed an yasqot al nezam” (the people want the regime to step down).  Then they continued on eastward on Horria Avenue.

By 2:15-2:20 we heard even louder chants, the second wave of demonstrators had no end. There was a minimum of 50,000-to 100,000 passing by us. They were chanting “selmeya selmeya” (peaceful peaceful) “Hosni Mubarek ya kharib’ha, itla3 bara yala w sibha” (Hosni Mubarak who destroyed it, go out and leave).

There were people of all classes, ages, religions, etc..(but mainly young men and women between 15-30) I saw a twenty year old demonstrating with his mom on a wheelchair. I was so happy it looked like this. The demonstrators would start chanting for people they saw watching from the balcony to come down.  Most people did.  Those who did not were cheering and sharing food and water. It was being passed around for all.

The chants "Egyptians!! Join us!!" slowly changed to "Mansour!! Join us!!". I was really impressed. Did not know my hubby was that famous.  The we saw a man jumping and waving to call us. We realized it was my brother-in-law Mohamed and a group of his friends. My husband left to join him 10 minutes ago. It's not scary though, it's amazingly peaceful. We heard that the police are refusing to fire tear gas. We called Mohamed's wife to tell her not to worry about her husband cause he joined the demo directly from the mosque.He couldn't reach her since the cell phones are not working. Only landlines.

The demonstrators stopped outside the police station again. I couldn’t see what happened but everyone in the demonstration started to cheer. I think that some officers must have joined because all the protesters where so happy, and moved on. Their numbers kept growing as people joined them from the neighboring buildings and streets as they passed by. The pictures they are carrying are national icons, Mustafa Kamal, Saed Zaglool, Tal3at Harb, etc. And every now and then people will start singing national songs, Beladi (My country),  Masr heya Omi (Egypt is my mother). You couldn't see any signs of the Muslim Brotherhood, everyone is just protesting together. 

No internet, no phones, no TV stations that show what is going on (specifically AlJazeera), and Egyptian stations are playing movies and music. And in spite of all of this, the protests are so strong. I’m so happy, I can’t describe it.  It is the first time I see hope in peoples eyes. I am sure something will happen.

.... there are more protesters coming, but from the opposite direction. They are a different protest that will all probably join at the east point of Alexandria.”

I don’t know what will happen next. Rumor has it that the Minister of industry and trade was called back from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. So there is a rumor that he may be forming the new government.

Demonstrators have signs saying “Jeddah is waiting for you (Mubarak)” hahaha. 

My mother comes in from the balcony laughing:

Two security vehicles were going down the street slowly, I think they were coming back to the police station near our house. When the rank and file officers came out the protesters started giving them cigarettes and water. And they are smoking, and they are not supposed to do so while they are on duty. (laughter). I want to make them coffee and tea.  It is really peaceful, its so peaceful, it's amazing.

Photo courtesy of my dear cousin Mohammed.

1 comment:

mhanno said...

Where is the rest of the story? Ya, sure it was a nice start but things were getting bloody elsewhere and later everywhere.