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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid