Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tahrir Square Friday

I was out on Cairo's Tahrir Square between noon and 3:00pm Friday. I went out again in the evening. The place was full of hundreds of thousands of people, many carrying flags. The people were celebrating the fact they have a new prime minister.

"Freedom!" shouted two young men I passed. That summed it up. Above all else, the day was a celebration of the new freedom of the Egyptian people.

I stopped to watch a puppet show. Hosni Mubarak danced around the stage. He wore a star on his lapel, implying the deposed Egyptian leader had been a puppet of Israel. Funniest was a comedian who did an imitation of Gaddafy. Everyone laughed at that.

Earlier I had passed a young couple carrying signs, one in English, the other in Arabic. It read: America keep your hands off Libya!

The man said, "We don't want another American occupied country on our doorstep. If they get involved, then we can't be sure they won't stay. We can't trust them."

"Don't you want to see them enforce a no-fly zone? Qadafy is bombing the cities," I said.

"The Libyans should be left to work this out for themselves."

The streets around Tahrir Square were more crowded than the traffic island where the tents are set up -- the permanent encampment.

Past the Egyptian Museum, I came to a line of tanks. Small children were seated on the armored vehicles having their pictures taken with the soldiers.

The army remains popular. The big question is what to do about the police and security services.  I have more to report  about that. 

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