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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
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.

AppleAndroid