« | Home | »

In Tahrir Square


Posters for the movie El Fagoumi, which tells the life story of the folk poet Ahmad Fuad Negm, show the actors superimposed over Tahrir Square in revolutionary tumult. The image is almost indistinguishable from the montages of the ‘Revolution of 25 January’ that play on music video channels or hang incongruously from the government offices the demonstrations were directed against.

On the streets off Tahrir, children with nowhere better to go are still sleeping rough. Men still shift huge piles of dust without shovels, or shoes. The police are different though: there are fewer of them, older professionals instead of young conscripts. Spaces where posters of Mubarak or the National Democratic Party used to hang are now dedicated to the martyrs of the revolution or to the parties and demands that have emerged since. ‘Mubarak’ underground station has been renamed ‘Martyrs’. The former president’s once ubiquitous gaze now looks down only from homemade banners demanding his speedy trial.

At the junction of Talaat Harb Street and Tahrir Square people have attached their handwritten hopes and demands to the pavement (see photo). Nobody walks on them. In the square itself, a tree is decorated with petitions. People gather there to discuss the future of the revolution. But the freedom of the square is not assured. The baltagiyya (‘thugs’) deployed by the old regime are still carrying out assaults and sexual harassment. At the northern end of the square and on many of its approaches, the paving stones are still torn up. No one seems in much of a hurry to replace them.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.

  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • jayavarman on How to Rig an Election: Before US election day 2000, Jeb Bush's Florida government disenfranchised a large number of voters in primarily Democratic districts, though it still...
    • Harry Travis on How to Rig an Election: Mr. Newey's comment is exceptional, noting the non sequitur nature outrage by the US Establishment and especially the liberal US press. Trump, with hi...
    • ikp on Maddening, Fiendish, Formidable: To buy Nemo from the USA, email your order to the editor at ikp1000@cam.ac.uk. You can pay with PayPal.
    • thebears on How to Rig an Election: Can't comment on accuracy, but this certainly aspires to tell you how the Congressional races are looking: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/201...
    • Jeremy Bernstein on How to Rig an Election: As a physicist who has followed closely nuclear arms proliferation I have noted and commented on in print on Trump's willful ignorance of the subject...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement