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On the ground in Cairo

Cases of water and juice were loaded into a truck in a crowded alley behind Tahrir Square. For the past two-and-a-half weeks, the street has been part of an infirmary, an extension of a local mosque-turned-hospital that bustled with medics tending to weary protesters.

Like the rest of Tahrir Square, the infirmary has been dismantled. Leftover goods were transported away with other remnants of the vast tent city. But while downtown Cairo is regaining a sense of normalcy, many say the fight for reform is far from over.

“We’re not finished now because we want everything changed,” said Mousad Nour, 26, as he watched the last remaining items from the former infirmary get piled into a red pickup truck. “We don’t know what will happen, but we hope there will be a big change.”

Nour stood just off of Tahrir Square, which has been booming with celebrations since Friday afternoon. Egyptians lit fireworks, played music, and waved red, white and black flags.

“The title of Obama is what we have now: change,” said Michel Mounir, 26.

While many people say they are beginning to think of new leaders, the main priority for most is gaining the right to free and fair elections. Some say they refuse to leave Tahrir Square until they see democratic reform. 

“The first thing we had to do was get rid of Mubarak,” said Hossam Sadani, 38. “The second thing is to change the constitution.”

On Sunday, Egypt’s Supreme Military Council announced on state television that it suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament. The council said it will run the nation for the next six months, or until elections are held.

In the meantime, a committee was formed to work on constitutional reforms, and the council will issue laws and decrees during the period of transition. Until a new ruling body is formed, the current one will remain as an interim government.

Since Friday afternoon, power has been in the hands of the military. Soldiers around Tahrir Square are treated like celebrities. Children on Sunday were hoisted onto tanks for photos with the army, and men and women pulled out cell phones to snap shots of their new heroes. “Soldiers now are more important than any celebrities in Egypt,” Mounir said. “They were the first to hug and kiss us and say, ‘congratulations.’”  Like many other Egyptians, Mounir trusts the army and believes they are working for the people.

Celebrations continue in the square without pause. “This is the country within the country,” said Mounir. “Tonight is what remains of the revolution.”

Many say they are hopeful for their future despite the current period of uncertainty. “Now we have freedom, real freedom,” said Ahmed Mahmoud, 23. “All people here are now one hand.”

Listen to the audio player below for sounds of the revolution.



February 11 and 12


February 11


February 9

February 8 

February 7


February 5
 

February 4


February 3

February 2

February 1 – “Million-man march” in downtown Cairo

January 30

January 29
 

January 28