Inspired by The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters swept through the streets of Egypt on the 25th of January, 5 years ago, demanding an end to the corruption and Mubarak’s 30 year rule as President.
25 January 2011: An anti-government protester defaces a picture of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria [Stringer]
26 January 2011: Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo as thousands of Egyptians defied a ban on protests by returning to Egypt’s streets and calling for President Hosni Mubarak to leave office [Goran Tomasevic]
A protester holds up a banner in front of a line of riot police in downtown Cairo. [Unknown]
28 January 2011: A protester stands in front of a burning barricade as police and demonstrators fought running battles on the streets of Cairo in a fourth day of protests
28 January 2011: An Egyptian anti-government activist kisses a riot police officer following clashes in Cairo, Egypt [Lefteris Pitarakis]
28 January 2011: A man tries to protect himself with an Egyptian flag as police fire water cannons at protesters in Cairo
A masked protester throws a gas canister towards Egyptian riot police, not seen, near the Interior Ministry during clashes in downtown Cairo. [Tara Todras-Whitehill]
28 January 2011: A protester watches an Egyptian Army armoured vehicle burn in Cairo after President Hosni Mubarak ordered troops into Egyptian cities in an attempt to quell growing mass protests demanding an end to his 30-year rule
28 January 2011: Egyptians gather around the burning headquarters of the ruling National Democratic party (NDP) in Cairo [Khaled Desouki]
A graffitied smiley face on a wall constructed by the military to impede protesters. [Amru Salahuddien]
29 January 2011: The headquarters of the ruling National Democratic (NLD) party burns after it was set ablaze by protesters in Cairo [Yannis Behrakis]
Riot police use water cannons on protesters trying to cross the Kasr al-Nile bridge. [Peter Macdiarmid]
30 January 2011: Protesters in Cairo hold a banner featuring a cartoon calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down [Asmaa Waguih]
31 January 2011: Egyptian film star Omar Sharif points to Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, in Cairo, Egypt [Lefteris Pitarakis]
31 January 2011: A protester holds a placard depicting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as Adolf Hitler in Cairo’s Tahrir Square [Yannis Behrakis]
1 February 2011: Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators march in Alexandria, Egypt [Ahmed Muhammed]
1 February 2011: An Egyptian man sits atop one of the lions at the entrance of Kasr El Nil Bridge, leading to Tahrir Square [Zeinab Mohamed]
2 February 2011: A pro-Mubarak rioter riding on a camel clashing with anti-government protesters in what became known as the Battle of the Camel [Chris Hondros]
6 February 2011: A Muslim holding the Quran (left) and a Coptic Christian holding a cross are carried through opposition supporters in Tahrir Square in Cairo [Dylan Martinez]
8 February 2011: Egyptian anti-government protesters perform the evening prayers as they gather at Cairo’s Tahrir square [Patrick Baz]
10 February 2011: Anti-government bloggers work on their laptops from Cairo’s Tahrir square on the 17th day of consecutive protests calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak [Patrick Baz]
10 February 2011: Anti-government protesters raise their shoes after a speech by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak saying that he had given some powers to his vice president but would not resign or leave the country [Chris Hondros]
11 February 2011: Egyptian women celebrate the news of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who handed control of the country to the military, at night in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt [Tara Todras-Whitehill]
11 February 2011: Celebrating the announcement of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation in Tahrir Square [Jonathan Rashad]
18 February 2011: A girl attends Friday prayers in front of an army tank in Tahrir Square in Cairo a week after Mubarak resigned [Suhaib Salem]
18 February 2011: A woman waves an Egyptian flag on a balcony overlooking Cairo’s Tahrir Square as hundreds of thousands of people gather to celebrate the revolt that forced president Hosni Mubarak to step down [Mohammed Abed]
The Square follows the events of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, millions of people protested together to change the corruption within the regime. Never forget that as the people we have the power, unity can change everything if we all believe in the same purpose. RIP to the many innocent people who were murdered throughout the protests. I strongly suggest people to watch this documentary, open your eyes people.
On a chilly Friday afternoon in November, just weeks before Ahmed Maher would resort to scribbling notes on toilet paper from his jail cell to communicate with the outside world, I caught up with him on the campus of Portland State University in Oregon. Maher, 33, is the co-founder of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, a grassroots group that was instrumental in organizing the 2011 overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. I had written about Maher in 2008, when A6Y was little more than a motley cadre of rabble-rousers using Facebook and social media to rattle the regime, and again post-revolution, when the world was intoxicated by that thing called the Arab Spring, and Maher and his peers were on their way to a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
What a difference three years makes. Egypt so far looks like an epic flail. Members of secular groups like A6Y have always known that you can’t snap your fingers and create a civil society. As Wael Ghonim, the former Google executive who helped galvanize public fury toward Mubarak’s thug-ocracy, put it: “Revolutions are processes, not events.” Unfortunately, that process to date has been characterized by economic dysfunction, broken promises from elected officials and military leadership, flare-ups of deadly violence, and, most recently, a ban on public protests every bit as draconian as Mubarak-era prohibitions. Just this week, Egyptian authorities acquitted some of Mubarak’s closest allies of corruption while filing new terrorism charges against deposed President Mohammed Morsi. A cynic would say the revolution has been hijacked. Worse, even: deleted.
The flag of Egypt (علم مصر) is a tricolor consisting of the 3 horizontal red, white & black bands of the Arab Liberation flag dating back to the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. It bears Egypt’s national emblem, the Eagle of Saladin, centered in the white band. The Free Officers who toppled King Farouk in the 1952 Revolution assigned specific symbolism to each of the 3 bands. The red symbolises the period before the Revolution, a time characterized by the struggle against the monarchy and British occupation. The white symbolizes the bloodless nature of the Revolution itself. The black symbolizes the end of the oppression of the Egyptian people at the hands of the monarchy, and foreign imperialism.
Egypt’s use of the Arab Liberation flag inspired its adoption by a number of other Arab states. The same horizontal tricolor is used by Iraq, Syria, and Yemen (and formerly Libya), the only difference being the presence (or absence) of distinguishing national emblems in the white band.
The Arab Eagle, in Egypt also known as the Eagle of Saladin (نسر صلاح الدين) or the Republican Eagle (النسر الجمهورى) is used as an emblem in Arab nationalism. It’s currently part of the coats of arms of Egypt, Iraq, and Palestine.
The association with Saladin is due to the depiction of an eagle on the west wall of the Cairo Citadel built under Saladin, although the eagle itself is of more recent date. Note that the word نسر nisr, which means either “eagle” or “vulture”, is used for Arab nationalism; the actual word for “eagle”, عقاب ʿuqāb is reserved as the name of the Black Standard used in Jihadism. In the Egyptian revolution of 2011, the eagle was associated with the Mubarak regime. Mehrez describes a stenciled graffiti depicting the Eagle of Saladin turned upside down as a call for the regime’s downfall.