Snapshots from Tahrir Square after Friday Prayers

Mohamed Atia, 44, Hamam City, Mars Mardroh State

1. When was the first time you went to Tahrir Square?
January 28, 2011. And I stayed until February, 12.

2. What has changed since then?
Nothing. It got even worse: corruption increased, unemployment increased, prices skyrocketed.

3. How does it feel in your heart?
Very unpleasant: We and all the others who didn’t participated in the revolution yet are ready to protest again.

4. If you would have ANY role in government, what would you do?
I would send millions of Egyptians to Sinai and to the West to protect Egypt.
For Sinai I would provide industrial machines and in the west water is key to solve the problems.

5. What are the next steps for Egypt to take?
As a nation we have to take care that we don’t split into various ethnic groups who fight against each other. Just like we see in
Syria, Somaila and Irak. We are one!

Magda Ahmet Mohamed, 58, Cairo – Her son was killed during the unrests.

1. When was the first time you went to Tahrir Square?January 25, 2011, The day of the Revolution.

2. What has changed since then?
Nothing has changed! Except the fact that all our sons are dead.
The Ministry of the Interior offered money for compensation. But this is not about money. I demand the execution of thoses who killed them.

4. If you would have ANY role in government, what would you do?
The Ministry of the Interior and the police should be in love with their poeple. They must stand with the people not against them. They shouldn’t try to fool us. We Egyptians are preciuos people and government should treat us accordingly.

To achieve justice and leverage society as a whole I would give money to the poor.

5. What are the next steps for Egypt to take?
We need to decrease youth unemployment.
We need to provide food and housing for everybody.
We should stop fosussing on the rich!
We should educate the young people!

Fathy Aboamar, 55, Menya State, 6th October City

1. When was the first time you went to Tahrir Square?
25 Januar. Since then I stayed at Tharir Square every single day and participated in various sit-ins.

2. What has changed since then?
Now we are facing an ongoing struggle between Islamistas, the Liberals and the Seculars.

3. How does it feel in your heart?
This struggle dispossess the revolution aside. Neither the Liberals nor the Seculars have a broad basis in the streets of Egypt.
All foreign media interviews only Liberals and Seculars – there are hardly any chances for the Islamists.

4. If you would have ANY role in government, what would you do?
If I’d have a role in ISLAMIC government I’d apply the Sharia of Allah for all Egyptian people.

Wael Hanafy, 24, Cairo, Egypt

1. When was the first time you went to Tahrir Square?It was January 25. And I stayed there until the step down of Mubarak!

2. What has changed since then?
No change happened until now! We are just about to start “cleaning” up with corruption.

3. How does it feel in your heart?
It’s a very good feeling.
At least we as a nation start to feel that there was something wrong in Egypt.

4. If you would have ANY role in government, what would you do?
We should take legal actio for anyone who did any kind of abuses/crime!
We would justify our martyr.
And then we should focus to develop our country.

5. What are the next steps for Egypt to take?
Like China and Japan we will take the steps to become a more productive country.
We have many resources – we should use them wisely to become a great country again. Just like China and Japan.
We have to think seriously about how to implement technology and science.

First day in Cairo, August 11

The descend into Cairo International Aiport was spectacular. Besides some bumpy air and unexpected curves we overflew the entire city – we could see the huge huge city in its grey-beige colour, the waterside of the Nile, the Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, the desert around. Amazing. Only by seeing it we could sense the smell and its rhythm.

Getting our visas and clearing customs went fast and so – after a highly appreciated cigarette in the hot sun – we got into a white cab to drive downtown. Now we could feel the rhythm of the city: endless traffic jams, self organizing traffic flow, the never ending sound of the hooters and a blustering driver – but after an hour we arrived safely at hour hotel right next to Nile.

The bell caption at the hotel entrance hesitated to welcome us – we most likely didn’t look like their “regular clientele”;-) But we’ve made it and after a refreshing welcome drink we underwent a 10 minute instruction to our hotel room … finally I kicked the butler out! Enough is enough;-)

For diner we went to La Bodega, Zamalek in the iconic Baehler Masion … a place I first went to last March. A beautiful dining room with the flair of the 20ies, an atmosphere which has nothing, really nothing to do with traditional Islam and most likely a spot where corruption, money laundering take place first hand. But nevertheless a wonderful place to start a trip to Cairo. Their food is divine and reasonable.

After dinner we walked up the lively street and vistited El Sawy culturewheel. It is an all-purpose, private cultural center and it’s considered one of the most important cultural venues in Egypt. According to Aljazeera, the center gets more than 20000 visitors monthly and its website receives approximately 150000 visitors/month.

It’s huge: art exhibits, theatre performances, panels on the current political events, indoor and outdoor dining, live music, bars, cafes, movie theatre, readings … and many happy people enjoying late evening hours during Ramadan. Very diverse range of people: male, female, young and old, business and leasure, wealthy and poor, straight and gay … The place was packed.

We left around midnight – still sweating …