News / Middle East

Cairo Protesters In Jubilant Mood

Anti-government protesters react in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
Anti-government protesters react in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

A sea of jubilant protesters filled the vast Tahrir Square in the heart of Cairo on Friday. They sang protest songs, and chanted that it is time for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to go. Most of them are young and euphoric at their growing power.

Ramy Essam has a modest following on YouTube. But here in Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, the 23-year-old engineering student is something of a superstar.

He's also injured. Bandages on his head and jaw bear testimony to the previous days' bloody clashes with pro-government mobs that tried to move in to Liberation Square. Many of the anti-government protesters say they thought they were going to die.

But on Friday, the pro-government mobs had vanished. Exhilarated, the protesters kissed each other and sang along with Essam among the burned out hulks of vehicles and chunks of concrete strewn about the pavement.

Watch Video of Friday's Protests in Cairo

And even though the president remained in power, Essam was triumphant. "Our revolution has succeeded! And we will stay here in Tahrir Square until Hosni Mubarak goes away," he said.

A young woman standing next to Essam explained what his songs are about. "He's describing how youth are living. They can't find jobs. They are suffering, even if they work - their salaries are not enough to do anything. You cannot rent an apartment, the suffering that the youth is (enduring) in this country," she said.

When asked if they were friends, she said, "We just met here in the revolution and we became friends."

"More than friends! Brothers and Sisters," replied Essam.

Nirvana Said has been protesting since the first day, January 25. "The solidarity here is amazing. And the spirit is beautiful. We all want the same thing. We want freedom. We want to be treated like humans," she said.

Watch a Related Video from VOA's Luis Ramirez

Army tanks blocked the entrances to the square, and hundreds of volunteers frisked people coming in. Once inside, many knelt in prayer at the designated times. At other times, groups of protesters marched around, making up chants.

This one means, "There is a guy who has been lost for 30 years. His name is Hosni Mubarak.


Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid