Feb 11, 2011


We Are Free...We Are Free. Turn on your television and see..

You do not have to be physically here, for all over the world tonight you can hear

that Egypt has risen again to stand tall, with an achievement that makes our pyramids look small

And a younger generation that shed its blood and dared for once to damn the flood

of injustices forever endured, of tyrany and hardship left uncured

So Egypt tonight you deserve to rejoice, your children stood up and made a choice

To make Freedom more than just a word and let their voices at last be heard

and promise to serve you from now on, with heads held high and resolutions strong

and backs that will bear and hours that'll be spent, to deserve this gift that heaven sent

I promise to serve you tireless and true, and to have faith in the law of the few

where some inspire and some will lead. and some will excell with God's speed

and all of us will be enthralled ...that we were here to see it all.

People of Tahrir Square Thank:

The Martyrs and Their Families

The Martyr Khaled Saeed and His Family

Wael Ghoneim and His Group

Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook

The Proud and Relentless People of the Revolution!

Feb 10, 2011

Fresh From the Square

 Entry 38:
10 Feb 2011, 12:00 am

This is a summary of what is happening on the ground now. After Mubarak announced that he will not be stepping down but will be giving responsibility to his VP. Crowds were disappointed from speech (please try to view it online), but did not appear violent as was reported on CNN international.

Crowds that were seen leaving were not necessarily going to the TV Broadcast building to storm it or to the presidential palace as was reported by some channels
From more than three different sources on the ground, I was told that people are disappointed but not violent. There are those who say they will still spend the night in the square. The general direction is to stay in the square, pray the Friday prayers there tomorrow and then move the protests to the presidential palace after prayers. "Bokra El 3asr 7anroo7 El Qasr" which means: "Tomorrow afternoon...to the palace".

The protestors are PEACEFUL this is the most important message to relay tonight. They are not intending any violence. They are resuming their chanting and are clearly disappointed but that is the extent of their reaction.

 It is my personal opinion as well, that they still have a lot of thinking to do through the night, like normal people, which makes their decisions about tomorrow unconfirmed.

I repeat: they are not leaving the square ‘en masse’ in a flurry to go do any kind of reactionary demonstrations anywhere. If some people are, they do not represent the majority or the organized entities that have been inhabiting the square for the past 17 days.

God Bless.

Note: These reports are given by phone, live from
Tahrir Square
by the protestors themselves.

Feb 9, 2011

And They Fall Into Place...

Entry 37:

February 9, 2010 11:30 pm

In the last 48 hours a vital piece of the puzzle fell into place for 99.9% of the Egyptian population who weren’t sure which specs of ice had started the snow ball. There were millions in the square. But no one could tell you who told them to go there.

 Some had actually received a “Facebook” invitation with a logo of an angry protestor on it and the announcement that there will be a “Day of Anger” on Tuesday the 25th  of January. I was one of those who had an active facebook account and received it.

However, most people came because someone informed them that there was a protest forming. Still, up until the events I will mention below, the majority of Egyptians had no clue how they ended up in one of the biggest revolutions in history. A revolution that appeared to have started with the wealthy and not with those who had nothing to lose and the most to gain as has been the majority of revolutions in history.

We all knew that protestors had been killed, beaten and some of them, together with numerous reporters, had been arrested or declared “missing”.

Among those missing, was a young man called Wael Ghoneim. We kept hearing of him here and there, mainly because he was an esteemed employee in the renowned “Google” Middle East Division. We heard his mother and father, his wife and his company were looking for him. We prayed for them.

Then, in what is the equivalent of America’s “60 Minutes” program to Egyptians, “The Ten O’Clock Show” (10:00 pm that is) announced that Wael Ghoneim was found. He had been held by Egyptian intelligence for 11 days for allegedly instigating the events that took place on the 25th of January, namely the very first protest.

In an interview with this popular Egyptian TV show, he appeared on national television looking haggard and exhausted and broke into tears several times during the show. He explained how he was kidnapped in the street, blindfolded for the entirety of his captivity and repeatedly questioned about the events that lead to the protests. Ghoneim insisted, that apart from them keeping him without informing his family, he was never mistreated by those who held him there.

Then he told the simple story about a group of young Egyptians who started a facebook page for “Khaled Saeed” a 28 year old Egyptian beaten to death and dragged through the streets of Alexandria on June 6, 2010. He was trying to leak a tape of a group of Egyptian officers splitting up drugs after a drug bust.

“We Are All Khaled Saeed” was the name of the facebook page and it called for demonstrations.  Small demonstrations did take place shortly after, on occasions marking different stages of the investigation into his death that always exonerated the police.

The police blatantly faked a coroner’s report and a trial claiming that Khaled had committed suicide meaning that he basically beat himself into a pulp. In fact, they did everything to show Egyptian people that they killed him, the pictures proved it and there was nothing the Egyptian people could do about it.

Saeed was definitely not the first Egyptian to die in Egypt in this manner. The numbers are probably in the scary thousands. But somehow God chose him to be the “tipping point”.

Wael Ghoneim and his group, were constantly fueled by this trauma to their sheltered lifestyle. These were wealthy individuals, touched by a story that summarized the cruelty of the Egyptian ruling system. They did not know what “hardship” was. However, this story gave a pretty close account of it.

They definitely knew that the country was not theirs. They had no more rights in it than the poor or even destitute did. They had a feeling that maybe this was the time for them to change it.

Shortly after their failure to create a major impact over Khaled’s tragedy, inspired by Tunisia, they started a page to invite people to protest on the 25th of January which is “Police Day” in Egypt. The main people on the mailing list were those that had joined the “We Are All Khaled Saeed” page, the rest were contacts of contacts. So the news spread in a “butterfly effect” in the true spirit of Facebook

That is how it started. Now the square is a living entity of its own. Inhabited by a variety of Egyptian personifications of injustice in human form. Every face has a story and a reason to be there, that prevents it from ever going home.

There is a culture and order to the square. There is a check point system, a food and water system and makeshift accommodations.  There is artwork on display and podiums for poetry and “positive energy” in abundance. A sober equivalent to “Woodstock”, it is a site as worthy in its touristic value as the pyramids themselves.

Now that there are no police nor “thugs” on horses and camelback attacking, regular Egyptians come in droves to pay homage to the resident protestors.

The doubts and fears of the last entry have temporarily been quelled by the moving unifying speech of the young Wael Ghoneim. For he did what the president failed to feel let alone realize the wisdom of faking. Ghoneim broke into uncontrollable sobs at the mere sight of the pictures of those who lost their lives participating in something he and his friends had put together with a few strokes of a computer keyboard.

He even apologized for the lives of police and any Egyptians who lost their lives since the protests began. He apologized for the deaths, but pointed the finger of responsibility towards the president for not allowing the protestors to ask for their most basic rights in peace.

I visited the square yesterday. For the first time, as a mother of two young children, I felt it safe to be present where all the phone calls I received originated. I felt like a cheater for only setting foot there when the bullets had stopped. I felt like a tourist watching a wedding when I was never family or friend to the bride or groom.

I thanked God that my husband had participated in the days of violence and said a silent prayer hoping that that gave me some right to smile at these brave people and claim that I am one of them.

I have never been prouder to be an Egyptian. I have never been so thankful to be present at such a time in humanity’s timeline. I pray that the very lack of leadership that made this revolution so unique, does not lead to its demise.

I pray for a unifying leader and voice. I pray for the tools to facilitate this nation’s evolvement. And I pray that the outside world’s personal interests do not interfere. I pray that Khaled Saeed rests in peace and knows that his death was not in vain. I pray that his parents find some comfort in this. I pray that his image reminds us of what is at risk if we give up this fight.

In honor of him and all those tortured to death on Egyptian soil that remain un-avenged, I will post the first pictures ever on this blog. I am posting his image in health and after his death. Despite the gore and tragedy of this image, it is as important as anything I have reported so far about these historic events. God bless and rest his soul.

I will keep writing this blog as long as there are people in
Tahrir Square

God Bless.


Feb 7, 2011

Be Patient Egypt

Entry 36:

11:15 pm Feb 7 2011-02-07

I have been silent for two days. That does not mean there were no calls from 'Tahrir'. I couldn’t pull the information close enough to stitch together a picture we could publish. My heart was in the square and outside of it where efforts were being made to support Egypt and what it is going through. But the task began to weigh on me for reasons I will mention below.

People in the field would say “I am living the absolute best time of my life”. They’d say this before they set out to their homes to take showers and short breaks and go back. However, upon touching base what happened to me, happened to them. They realized that, after what is less than two weeks, Egypt has already started to split up in opinion.

Massive campaigns by the media, and by people who had stakes to lose if the protestors continued, started to create dents in the image internally and in the spirit. Egyptians began to believe the “hype” that what they lose by the protestors holding their ground, could not and would not be made up for decades to come. Stories about the movement being from abroad and having a “private agenda” started to circulate and the movement took hit after hit.

While Europe and the United States hailed the Egyptians and their fight heroic, citizens at home called each other “traitors”. The ‘cause’ got confused and support was often taken from the very people who once built it. What was going on? So depressing, I could not bring myself to write.

I feared for my fellow protestors in the field. I feared that if I wrote positive things about the square, its organization and its wonderful spirit, that people would get angry at them. I feared that the prayers for them and those who lost their lives would stop.

I feel like I personally took a hit. Let me try to explain to those who will listen what is happening to us. One must understand, that revolutions, such as this one, catch you mid-stride while your life is still at its regular momentum.

 For example, prior to this event, as an American/Egyptian or Egyptian/American (there is no way to decide the order on that one), I had plans to be in the States by July. There is no way to look at that decision in the same way now. Do I stick to my plans? Do I even want to?

 A friend had lost her son due to complications of the swine flu a mere few days before the popular uprising. Her grieving process has been shaped by the extraordinary events that occurred. In a way she was robbed of the attention and support she would have taken normally, but in another she was somewhat distracted.

Children were preparing for exams; people were fighting with an already struggling economy. The sick and the elderly were struggling with their treatments and afflictions.

Then there was Tunis.

A contagious sentiment that echoed one present in most Arab hearts and minds travelled to a generation of Egyptians that were dealing with negative information overload. Stories with images, constantly circled the net, about the government, its stealing, killings and torture and the lack of channels for reprehension. Suddenly it sparked a sudden need to speak out.

The universe aligned itself as they say. For a mere few years ago, a twenty-something year old young man in America would invent Facebook not knowing that it would be a vital tool that would fight an oppression that spanned decades across many Arab nations. The domino effect of that was a group of young Egyptians using this tool to communicate a nationalistic sentiment that multiplied with every click of the mouse.

So your stride comes to a stop. The normal routine halted indefinitely. You have to think about “curfews”, a shortage of food, water, diapers, sanitary napkins etc…You can no longer send your kids to school and you do not know if you still have a salary or when banks will open. Credit cards are rendered useless and you pool the cash at home from family members.

First a sense of euphoria ensues. A victorious feeling that we are finally at that point where we are witnessing exciting things starting to happen. We gawk in disbelief as the government actually attempts to shuffle their cards.

The days go by and the intensity increases and with it the shortages and people start to feel like it is time to cut our losses. The sense that we should be “grateful” for what we got so far, starts to dance around like an imaginary gnome and tap people on the head. They begin to split apart in opinion and attack each other.

The initial camaraderie is replaced with distrust. We fight for the original feeling that had us initially smiling giddily to fellow citizens, we did not know, on the street. It seems misplaced. We weep. And we take the weeping to the square where the unity of sentiment nurses us.

Do not give up on those of us still in the square. For us, it is still the 25th of January. The death of our friends is fresh in our minds and is a fresh, gaping wound in parents’ hearts. We have not attained any of what they fought and died for. They would not have given their lives for a mere “adjustment” from the government.  

We realize that this is an era of Egypt where people are not well versed in the science of resistance. We realize the economic and emotional losses. We are not blind.

The NGOs that participated in this movement already came together and are creating real solutions to ensuing poverty-related issues. We are doing our best to coordinate efforts to educate everyone on political process and dealing with economic depressions. We ourselves are learning this information first to enable ourselves to impart it. We are honoring the dead.

Be patient Egypt. Be patient. Be patient. We are your children and we are doing what is unprecedented, which by nature is misunderstood. The “benefit of the doubt” is the very least of our rights with what we have achieved so far locally and globally.

In the square, there is still no access to toilets. It rained on us for two days and our meager beddings are wet. We miss our family life and are in no way “prepared” for an existence like this.

But we are solid in our intentions.

Egypt first.

Egypt first.

 A system that works.

Promises we can trust.

Honoring the martyrs by staying the course.

The economy will rise because we will work hard as a unit to bring it back. Tourists will come in droves because “The Egyptian” has become a symbol of freedom and his land worth visiting. Streets are already “mysteriously” getting cleaner. Children can’t wait to go back to school and do something.

There is a “force”. Please tell me you can feel it.

Please tell me you can sense our nationalism has been re-born over night.

Please tell me that you know that protests are still taking place all over Egypt, and not just in this Liberation Square.

Please tell those still in protest, that though some of you may not fully understand their demands now, you will stand by them as they fought for you and your children.

That is only fair.

Be patient Egypt. We will win it all back together.

God Bless.

Feb 5, 2011

The Decision Is To Stay...

Entry 35

It is 11:30 pm

The decision was made today by the beautiful variety of Egyptians, that are the essence of Liberation Square,
to stay the course. To those of you abroad, who only hear of the “nobleness” of the cause, let me tell you that a lot of Egyptian hearts will drop because of this decision.

The greater Egyptian community, like any community comprised of different people with different opinions, will continue to divide as of tomorrow morning. When those who did not read this blog realize that there will be no exiting of the square, nor did the army succeed in making that happen, a lot of debates will be taking place across this ancient land as the day lingers on with the protestors in their place. 

But let us explain how these decisions are made. It is not a mere carnival in the square, though it may seem so to the passer by, who only spends an hour or two in the crowd. There are actual deliberations that take place. For example, they created a committee of 60 youth that engage in meetings about strategy. Of these sixty, 20 can engage in negotiations on behalf of the square and the remaining forty’s job is to ensure that the decisions reflect the majority opinion of those engaging in the demonstration/strike.

Accordingly the decision made today was to stay in the square for a minimum of another week, with an extended message to people at home to make Sunday, Tuesday and Friday “March of Million” or “Millioniya” days.

What is the point? The only negotiating chip that they have is their presence in the Square. The current regime sees it, but more importantly the world sees it and follows it. They were never taken seriously in their 7 requests that were first mentioned in entry 31 and posted on a vast number of signs in the square on the 4th of February, including a large sign in the middle of the square that remains clearly visible till this very moment.

Here they are again if you missed them:

1.      Mubarak Leaves The Presidency
2.      The End of The 30 Yr Emergency Law Status Instated since President Saddat’s Assassination.
3.      A New “Gam3eya Ta’seesiya” (I do not know the translation to that one but will try to obtain it)
4.      A New Transitional Government that is Independent from the National Democratic Party
5.      Disassembling the “Shoora” council and the “People’s Assembly” because they were based on fraudulent elections. 
6.      A court martial trial for those responsible for the deaths that started from the 26th of January up until last night.
7.      A court martial trial for the crony capitalists and corrupt officials who profited illegally from any corrupt systems that were in place.

 So the decision to stay stands, until the requests are, at a minimum, discussed or mentioned in any of officials’ statements in addition to the offering of some concrete solutions.

Furthermore the heads of NGOs as well as leaders of the civic community held a meeting today and placed plans for directing their efforts towards relief initiatives across the board to assist in Egypt’s economic concerns. These include food packages for the poor and creating awareness campaigns that educate the public about how to survive tumultuous political climates economically, socially and psychologically.

They also set plans to begin creating funds and small documentaries for and about those who have lost their lives so far, as comfort and assistance to the families of the victims.

If you are a supporter and wonder what the square was like tonight, you will be glad to know that the atmosphere of peace prevailed for another day today. There were many who took to the stages and recited inspiring poetry or discussed the possibilities of a brighter future ahead.

There were no shortages of food and water as there are multiple systems in place for the distribution of food and hydration for the crowds by the protestors themselves as well as volunteers from the community that come in for that specific purpose and then leave.

And though yesterday was quite cold and the ground and beddings are wet tonight from the light rain fall that lasted all day, we sleep soundly with our “causes” beneath our heads as pillows.

So if you know of people who are having a hard time obtaining food, water or shelter in these challenging economic times. Tell them to join us in the square where the “real” Egyptians will take care of you till they can provide you with a government that will.

If you feel like the revolution has frustrated you by keeping you home and you feel trapped and stressed and out of place…join our family here on the ground. In this square no one is allowed to chant about his/her affiliation to a certain group or committee, nor praise their own role in this effort or claim to be leading it. In this group it is all about creating a winning team that has a “correct” system to help it function.

Think about it. From here on out the possibilities are endless. We will fix our government. Create one that will represent the colorful tapestry that is the Egyptian community. We will clean our streets and guard our monuments. We can make our sites as clean and organized as Disney Land and we have so much more to offer.

We can offer the best hospitality and the most creative methodologies in education and the arts. The sky, and our own willingness to venture outside of these prison bars, is the limit.

If you differ in opinion with our decision and believe that we have achieved enough for you and you are satisfied. Try to give us the benefit of the doubt and stay the course with us, maybe we will get you more.

We pray for Egypt, its prosperity and the safety of its children Allahuma Ameen.

God Bless

Silent Night

Entry 34

It is 5'0clock pm February 5th. We had a quiet and silent night. We spent it thinking and planning. Regardless what anyone thinks...we are not a mob of angry teens with off-the-wall demands. We are leaders of the first honest to goodness movement that this country has seen since we expelled the British.

We are not strangers to hardship. And we will not squander this honor and responsibility that God has bestowed upon us. We have been silent all morning because deliberations have been taking place. We are burdened by the current regime's refusal to let the symbolic abdication of it 30 yr dictator take place.

The most important thing we would like to share today is that we are deliberating and thinking what is best. And there are absolutely NO FOREIGN ELEMENTS OR INDIVIDUALS among us.

Liberation Square has been our home this last week. We know every person in every room. There are no strangers in this house. Only Egypt in our hearts.

God Bless

Feb 4, 2011

If You Were Confused Before...

Entry 33

11:14 pm Cairo Time, the last hour of February the 4th and Mubarak is still the president. At this point though the square is still packed to the gills, the spirit is confused though not yet waning.

Circles are gathered around small stages with microphones, as speakers take turns reiterating demands and reminding people why they are there and what are the terms for them to leave. The notion, that there are no acceptable negotiations that include the president completing his term, seems to be prevalent though not guaranteed. People are tired and a large number of the protestors are being pestered by family members to give up the fight and return to safety.

In addition to personal pressures, segments of the population have begun to criticize the protest and its goals, claiming that it is wreaking havoc on the Egyptian economy and it is keeping Egypt’s schools closed and placing the country’s children under house arrest. They say it has hiked up the crime rate and created a shortage of food for the poor.

Yet the president remains and claims that his departure is what may create chaos. He refuses to give the citizens the satisfaction of admitting that all the aforementioned ills, are the result of the forced screeching halt that Egyptian youth suddenly decided to enforce on this runaway train that dared to call itself a democracy.

No apologies or condolences were offered to the protestors and their families for those who lost their lives in this divorce of ideologies, by any government official let alone the president. The deaths are simply not mentioned in official speeches. No promises have been made that the protestors and their families will remain safe and unprosecuted when they go home.   

So like the title implies, if you are an Egyptian, and you were confused before about where to go from here, then you are, for lack of any better word, screwed now.

It has already been confirmed that a number of the protestors who headed home today to rest, are unaccounted for. They are missing. These are not TV scare tactics. I am just stating the facts delivered to me by those in the square who are concerned about friends who should be home by now and are not. We will update you on this situation tomorrow.

As of yet there is no clear vision of when we decide the square needs to be cleared regardless of the revolution’s demands. But there is a sense that if you give up on Mubarak leaving now, then you have betrayed the revolution and those who died for it.

Now, packed into the warmth of the square and the safe haven it creates for like-minded individuals who are anti-Mubarak and pro-revolution, protestors feel safe. They deter each other from leaving before noon tomorrow so they can protect each other from attacks or arrests. They sing and pray and phone people at home.
Now and then, the thought of the relative simplicity and predictability of their lives two weeks ago may creep to the surface, but they push it way down inside their minds lest it weaken their resolve.  

There is no way to compare those of us who are home hearing the buzz of the fridge and a loved one fidgeting in the kitchen, to those on the asphalt tonight.

So again, pray for them.

Pray for God to provide them with the wisdom to utilize their achievement thus far. Pray for the world to stand up and help them and for humanity to take center stage in this struggle.

God Bless.


Let Us Unite in Prayer

As night falls on Egypt and what could be a historical moment for Egypt and the world comes near...we ask you wherever you are in the world, Moslem, Christian and Jewish regardless of faith or culture, to concetrate your prayers and positive energy towards the brave people of Egypt.

They sit on the streets tonight, in numbers that are close to the entire population of some countries, and ask for the most basic human right.

The right to chose one's own fate. Let us test the theory of the power of collaborative prayer and pray for a peaceful ending to this chapter in Egypt's history.

After "Isha" (Moslem nightly prayers at 7:00 pm Cairo time), let the "do3aa" (indiviual prayers to God) begin.

Let us move this mountain with our hearts.

Situation is Stable

Entry 32:

6:09 pm Cairo Time Feb4 2011

It has been more than two hours since the last entry and all the calls said the same thing. People are chanting and singing and discussing the 7 demands on display. Spirits are high and as the sun sets there is a sense of achievement that the day light passed without violence.

A protestor who had brought his wife with him today opted to take her home before nightfall indicating that there is no need to let our guards down yet. He will return on his own. Generally though, no one appears to be going home.

From past experience, they seem to linger till dawn. If you are at home, and you have been glued to the set since this morning, now is the time to give yourselves and your children a break. Say a prayer for those in the square and check up with us in an hour.
It is now all about the wait and see.

Thankfully today because of the sheer number of those supporting us, food and medicine was allowed in. Stomachs are full and wounds are bandaged and the wait for a reward for past efforts begins.


7 Demands

Entry 31
3:30 pm Cairo time

A caller just called in and said that the peaceful demonstrations remain undisturbed and the following 7 demands can be seen on a vast number of signs displayed:

  1. Mubarak Leaves The Presidency
  2. The End of The 30 Yr Emergency Law Status Instated since President Saddat’s Assassination.
  3. A New “Gam3eya Ta’seesiya” (I do not know the translation to that one but will try to obtain it)
  4. A New Transitional Government that is Independent from the National Democratic Party
  5. Disassembling the “Shoora” council and the “People’s Assembly” because they were based on fraudulent elections.  
  6. A court martial trial for those responsible for the deaths that started from the 26th of January up until last night.
  7. A court martial trial for the crony capitalists and corrupt officials who profited illegally from any corrupt systems that were in place