News / Middle East

Huge Cairo Rally Renews Calls for Mubarak's Ouster

Anti-government protesters carry an injured man during clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square, February 4, 2011
Anti-government protesters carry an injured man during clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square, February 4, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Susan Yackee's Q&A with Luis Ramirez in Cairo Feb 4, 2011

Luis Ramirez

Latest Details

Huge crowds remain in Tahrir Square hours after curfew Friday. Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq on Friday promised no action would be taken against the protesters in Tahrir Square.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo, Friday, at another rally calling for the immediate ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.  There were some clashes and gunfire, but the rally was peaceful overall in its early hours.   Mubarak supporters also demonstrated in the Egyptian capital.  

Opponents of President Hosni Mubarak called Friday the "day of departure."  His supporters called it the "day of loyalty."

Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators filed into Tahrir Square to show that their demands are not going away.  They want Hosni Mubarak to step down immediately - not in seven months when elections are scheduled, as he announced he will do.

In contrast to recent bloody street battles, Friday's rally was mostly peaceful.

Susan Yackee's Q&A with Luis Ramirez in Cairo:

Demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the man who has led Egypt for 30 years to leave.  Some waved Egyptian flags.

An army helicopter kept watch from the sky, and soldiers deployed in greater numbers.  Demonstrators entering the square were checked for identification.  Some waited hours to get in.

Among them was Hisham Kassem, a prominent pro-democracy activist. Speaking to VOA by cellphone, he said, "Coming into the square, I stood in the longest queue I have ever stood in in my life. In the past, I've seen Egyptians queue for bread, gas, food. Today, I saw the biggest queue of Egyptians, and they were queuing for freedom."

There were reports of some clashes, and of shots fired in the air as pro-Mubarak demonstrators marched nearby. They were not allowed to enter Tahrir square, and started their own rally at Mustafa Mahmoud Square in another part of the city.

The largely peaceful rally was a sharp contrast to the street battles that have been fought in central Cairo in the last few days. Friday was the 11th day of major protests.

Opposition demonstrators say they will stay at the square until President Mubarak steps down.

The Egyptian president has told the U.S. television network ABC he would like to step down, but that there would be chaos in Egypt if he did.

Timeline of Hosni Mubarak's career

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
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 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.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


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