There is so much going on at the moment and it’s very hard keeping up with all the information and rumors that are coming in faster than you can process.
So, what I am going to do is post the emails I have been sending to my family and friends abroad so that you know what is going on with me and here in Egypt.
The 25th of January is a national holiday in Egypt in honor of policemen. (not much of a day off for them yesterday)
As you may or may not have heard, there are protests going on across Egypt. Before the march began, police arrested everyone in Cilantro Cafe, in Gamaat El Dowal, in Mohendiseen. One of the people I follow on twitter (@sandmoneky) got away in time to report what had happened.
There was very little news coverage yesterday when over 30,000 people went to peacefully demonstrate in downtown Cairo, Tahrir Square. There was no property damage or harassment of any kind. The protesters were being ‘respectful’ for loss of a better word.
(You might think…. so what is the big idea… people protest all the time all over the world. Well in Egypt, it’s illegal to protest, you
can get arrested and badly beaten for speaking out against the president or the government.)
KFC, Mc Donalds and Pizza Hut distributed food for free to the protesters. Other people supported the cause by providing water and
The Government is still in power and is limiting the amount of information to the public within the country and abroad
The riot police had road-blocks set up and riot police every, before the march was due to start at noon. The people found ways around the blocks, by side roads and walking on the 6th of October Bridge.
Yesterday the government succeeded in blocking twitter and shutting it down for a couple of hours, especially for those in the square.
Mobnil, a mobile phone network company shut down it’s communications too.
All of this to prevent the protesters from spreading the word to people withing the country and abroad.
Out of uniform police officers were in the Al Jazeera headquarter building taking down journalist/reporters names so that no one would
be able to cover the story.
At 11pm last night the people were still making their way to Tahrir square with the intention of spending the night. People were arriving
with pillows, blankets and food supplies.
That is when the police opened fire and used Tear gas, water hoses from fire trucks and batons against the protesters.
Today the people continue to speak out and are gaining help from the Tunisians, International Hackers to brake down firewalls and find
alternate ways to spread the word on line. They even sent the police on wild goose chases to false places where protests were going to
While in truth the protests were planned for 2pm, in Nasr City, Medan El Saa3a, 6th of October City, (Hossari) press and lawyers syndicate in down town Cairo.
Riot police have been on high alert all day.
Out of uniform police have been arresting small groups/clusters of people off the street and confiscating their mobile phones.
Government is limiting Internet access and is shutting twitter and facebook down in Egypt. (i have had a hell of a time trying to get in to gmail, it’s very reminiscent of the time when the Internet cables in the sea got cut)
I still have access to facebook and twitter from my blackberry, but that could be temporary…
While i still have access to twitter, if you have an account follow CNNs Ben Wedeman, Ian lee (ianinegypt), @sandmonkey…these are people that are on the ground reporting what is going on and taking pictures. you can see it for yourself.
(I am more of a behind the scenes kind of person)
A friend just got through to tell me, AlJazeera English has live coverage of what is going on in Egypt.
Police are taking no chances today…they are really cracking down hard on the protesters and using the words of Benwedemen, ‘No
The protesters have been fired with tear gas, beaten with bamboo sticks and kicked by out of uniform police officers
I just received a message informing me that people should avoid
The following areas, Tayaran Street, Tareeq El Nasr and Midan El Sa3a. ‘The demonstrations are getting crazy over
there and it’s becoming out of control’
Just got word mobile phone provider, Vodafone has blocked google, gtalk, blog spot and twitter.
I’m in Heliopolis, I live very close to the presidential palace and across the street from the national guard. There have been no protests
here at all. I am safe and not on the ground with the protesters.
Just thought you might want to know what is going on, in case you are trying to get through to some people. International calls were blocked yesterday for some time.
I want change in Egypt, but I dont think this is the wisest way to go about it. We don’t want some other guy to take over and screw the
country over. We also don’t want the extremists coming in to take over and turning Egypt in to the next Iran or Afghanistan. I think that
there has to be a plan…… So, as much as I am happy that the people are speaking up and voicing their frustration and want of change…I
hope this doesn’t become the next country to fall after Tunisia.
Rumor has it if the protests don’t end by 11pm, electricity companies have been told to shut off power. I don’t know how accurate that is.
* The power did go out in the downtown area and in Zamalek. People were asked to leave bars in case it got raided or dangerous.