News / Middle East

Egyptians Flood Tahrir Square for Massive Protests

A soldier holds a crying girl from his armored vehicle just outside Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Feb 1, 2011
A soldier holds a crying girl from his armored vehicle just outside Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Feb 1, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Luis Ramirez

A huge crowd has gathered in central Cairo calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down. The opposition has called for one million people to protest.

Crowds headed on foot for Cairo's Tahrir Square throughout the day Tuesday.  They included women with babies in strollers.

Their confidence is boosted after the army, in an official statement, described the demonstrations as legitimate and promised it would not fire on demonstrators. Army helicopters dropped leaflets calling on demonstrators to keep the protests peaceful.

The demonstrators' message is a clear one and their hopes are growing for changes in a country where the same man has ruled for nearly 30 years.

"We want to change the system, we want new alterations. The army must be with us, the army must be with us not against us. The army must be with us, not against us," said a protester.

The army enjoys respect among Egyptians, among other reasons because it has no history of attacking its own people.

It was unclear how soldiers might react if some of the demonstrators made good on their promises to march on the president's residence.

Train service remains suspended for a second day in a bid by the government to discourage demonstrators from coming to the capital to protest.  Internet service has been down since the first day of the protest more than a week ago.

The atmosphere in the early hours of Tuesday's anti-government rally was friendly.  It was a different scene from last Friday when scores of people were killed and hundreds injured in clashes with police.  Throughout the downtown area the scars remain, with some buildings burned and looted. The towering headquarters of Mr. Mubarak's party is now nothing more than a burnt hulk along the Nile River.

Across Cairo, hundreds of young men are manning checkpoints to prevent looting. One vigilante told VOA he wants to see change in his country but does not want it destroyed in the process.

A big question that remains is what kind of state will emerge, if and when, Mr. Mubarak leaves power.  Already there are disagreements within the opposition on whether Egypt should simply make democratic reforms or eventually become an Islamist state.  

Supporters of President Mubarak interviewed on the streets in Cairo called for him to stay in power. Hundreds gathered in support of Mr. Mubarak at a separate rally.

Thousands of foreigners as well as Egyptian nationals trying to leave Egypt remain stranded at Cairo's airport as airlines continue to cancel flights.

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

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs