Here's a phrase you never, ever want to hear from the person in charge of a country, in this case Egypt's interim prime minister Essam Sharaf, appointed by the governing military council: "The only beneficiary of these events and acts of violence are the enemies of the January revolution and the enemies of the Egyptian people, both Muslim and Christian."
Whenever a state declares someone or something an "enemy of the revolution," your best possible outcome is indefinite detentions and disappearances. (History says that the other choices down that road are often worse.)
A demonstration initially about the destruction of a Copt church was joined [...]
“This country will never be the same,” my driver said when he picked me up at the Cairo International Airport two nights ago. This much Egyptians can agree upon, but this much only.
For the time being, order has been restored. The military is in control. Tahrir Square is clear. Tanks line the streets of downtown Cairo and there are no longer gunshots sounding through the night.
But this country, one that draws something like $10 billion each year in tourism, has been depicted as a war zone for the past three weeks. For now, until Egyptians (and the rest of us) know what happened down in Tahrir Square, [...]
• The events of the Egyptian Revolution are often subject to a giant game of telephone. Today it's: "Thugs at the Presidential Palace!" No wait: "Peaceful friendly protests!" And you saw what happened yesterday. Someone—two someones, really—who worked somewhere in the Egyptian government said "I think Mubarak is going to step down today!" And then [...]
• Over the course of the demonstrations, the Egyptian military detained "hundreds and possibly thousands" of "government opponents": some of them were tortured, receiving "extensive beatings and other abuses."
• Rich people: they're all alike, all around the world! "Well-heeled Egyptians, who drive the country's economy, are concerned about ongoing unrest."
• Best Facebook update ever? We are all Khaled Said: "Thousands of lawyers have taken their protest to Abdeen Presidential Palace. Thousands more have joined them and the palace is now surrounded. The army has now withdrew from in front of the palace. The president is NOT in this palace unfortunately. He is in another [...]
There was a lot wrong with Malcolm Gladwell's super-ballyhooed piece, "Small Change," in the New Yorker last October. In it, he suggested that the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. took place without Twitter or Facebook, because they hadn't been invented yet. Now that the same questions have come up again with respect to recent events in Egypt, Gladwell hopped right onto the New Yorker blog to complain some more about how not-important Twitter is.
I am a little averse to putting up what is, in essence, a snuff film, but you can go here to see horrifying footage from Egypt "that seems to show a police truck racing through a crowded street and running over protesters." [Via]
Gordon Reynolds—the pseudonym of a teacher in Cairo, dictated this over the phone to a friend not in Egypt. (For real-time dispatches on today's demonstrations, follow him here.)
“Mister, Are you going to the protests tomorrow?” a student asked me on Thursday.
“No,” I said.
“It’s going to be worse than Thursday. Everything begins after Friday prayers, around twelve-thirty.”
“If I were going,” I said, “What part of town would I go to?”
“If you were going,” he said with a grin, “Then you should go to the mosque in Khan el-Khalili on Al-Azhar Street.”