Put on ya best silk headwrap, and feed your camel, there’s a party goin’ on!
Carrying flags and bringing their children along, Egyptians packed into Tahrir Square for a day of prayer and celebration Friday to mark the fall of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak a week ago and to maintain pressure on the new military rulers to steer the country toward democratic reforms.
The groups that sparked the 18-day revolt leading to Mubarak’s downfall called the massive gathering the “Friday of Victory and Continuation,” a name reflecting both their pride in forcing a change in national leadership and their worries about the future.
As Egyptians celebrated the nascent success of their revolution, other grassroots protest movements across the Arab world sought to capture the spirit of Tahrir Square and continue uprisings in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen.
People streamed into Tahrir Square on Friday, even though a main access road was blocked by an army jeep and a barricade, and those entering on foot had to present identification to soldiers.
The atmosphere was festive, as organizers hoped it would be, maintaining the upbeat spirit of the earlier protests. Some vendors even sold vuvuzelas, the buzzing horns that became the soundtrack to the World Cup in South Africa last summer.
“We came here because we are excited about Egypt and the revolution,” said 48-year-old Ashraf Abdel-Azim, who made his way to the square with his wife, Nadwa, and their 9-year-old son, Ahmed. “We want freedom and change, so we are happy to see it coming.”
All joking aside, it’s incredible to see that many people stand up and take back control of their country and live they way they want to.