Posts Tagged ‘Cairo’
Posted on April 11th, 2011 by admin. Filed under Egypt.
Here’s a video from the moment right before shit hit the fan in Tahrir Square, 2:30 Saturday morning (video is for listening, not viewing). It’s too blurry to tell, but what happened was the military & riot police faced-off with protesters who were breaking the 2AM curfew. During the stand-off both sides stood face to face, just inches away from each other, before the violence was unleashed. The pre-violence face-off went on for about 5 minutes, but felt like a lifetime. You can hear the protesters bang metal as the tension continued to build to the breaking point.
For the better part of four hours gunfire was literally nonstop. A large part of the action was right under my window since I’m close to the army compound at the museum. The sound of gun shots was so loud & intense that I hid in my bathroom a few times. Friends called, but most of the time we couldn’t hear one another because shots were so loud. Later on I was on the balcony when protesters were tear gassed — I was inadvertently tear gassed in the process. Those few hours were #%$@ing intense… I cannot begin to imagine what it was like to be on the ground during the crack down.
A few images shot at daybreak:
Although way too freaked out to shoot video while gunfire went off, I taped a snippet of a brigade of riot police returning to the compound. This video is another one that’s for listening, not watching.
When the curfew came to an end at 6AM, the riot police retreated and what was left of the protesters — meaning, the protesters that kept fighting despite the high degree of danger (mainly young men in their late teens/early 20s) took over the square. This was an entire different breed than the smiling welcoming protesters I had met in Tahrir the past Fridays.
These street fighter protesters celebrated victory by destroying nearby property and driving three army trucks into the square — one directly under my kitchen area — setting them on fire. I guess I watched one too many Dukes of Hazard episodes as a kid because I thought the truck would for sure burst into a ball of flames, setting my building afire, killing us all. Luckily it didn’t happen.. But for a few moments it felt like true, scary anarchy.
I didn’t see any signs of bloodshed in the square a few hours later, but it was reported that between one and two people had died. I only saw one injured person — that’s not to say no one was injured — i was reported that 70+ were in hospital. Someone showed me blank bullets they found on the street, while others reported it was live ammunition.
I’m no Egypt expert, but from what my Egyptian friends tell me, what happened that morning was huge — and it is/was a turning point in the ongoing revolution. Which way things will go from here, only time will tell…
Happy end of Ramadan to all my friends who are Muslim, and Happy Rosh Hashanah to all my Jewish pals. I hope you have ALL had amazing holidays. I started Ramadan out in Egypt- on a foluca on the Nile River (above). At the time i could not fathom how any individual- moreless a whole society (& in reality, many societies around the world) all go through a month of fasting together. It would be great to try something like that in America- the whole of society participating in it. No matter, I truly commend you for what you have done. I know many of my friends look forward to Ramadan as a time of reflection & getting back to basics of what is important in life. In a way i have had to have my own mini version of that coming back to the US. It was a rocky return but in all i now feel focused, positive & ready for all the work & good deeds to come. Happy New Year & Eid Mubarek my pretties!
Posted on August 30th, 2009 by admin. Filed under Egypt.
I began the Ramadan season in Cairo Egypt with my friends, a sweet Egyptian Family. I am familiar with the concept of fasting- but was again reminded that the period of fasting that goes on during Ramadan is a bit different from what i am used to. First and most staggering to me is that people do not even drink water during Ramadan fasting. When they fast they actually refrain from putting *anything* in their body- food, and drink- including water- which to me is the most difficult to give up. Add to that, most Egyptians I met smoke- so not only do they give up food, drink and water cold turkey, they also give up smoking, which is quite something…. Another diffreence b/t Ramadan fasting & the fasting I’ve done is that once the sun goes down you can eat/drink/smoke. Based on conversations i had with friends there & media reports I read (see: comics since i do not read Arabic), it seems like an entire society slows down during this period- becoming a bit nocturnal and not very productive- in western terms. that said, many are productive in their faith, self exploration and doing good deeds for others; all things encouraged during this time.
I have gone without drink & food for 15 days before- i did this in the US & faced so much opposition for it from friends & passers by, so it was really something special to see an entire society fasting toegther- supporting one another- and even the government and businesses supporting this slowing down in order to reflect, think of others & appreciate. Most Muslims i spoke to about Ramadan said that the purpose of it is to really feel and remember what those less fortunate go through- they do not have things such as food, or drink or smoke- and many do not even have access to clean water (b/c you know I *kept* asking about that aspect of the fast). I actually think that our society could gain so much if we all stopped and started to apprecaite the very basic things that we do have- including water. Maybe then we would focus less about the luxuries we think we don’t have, but want?
- Some photos from Misrata… stories to follow.
- The Boat to Misrata (Libya): Men’s quarters vs. Women’s quarters
- Why I had to visit Misrata (Libya).
- Greetings from Benghazi, Libya
- Just another day in Cairo…