Egyptian Chronicles: Jan 28 : Chronicles of The longest Friday in Egypt

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jan 28 : Chronicles of The longest Friday in Egypt

(Update : I think you probably knew about what is happening on Friday 28th January 2011 in my country before I did thanks to the communication blackout , I feel so isolated )

12 : 42 AM Having difficulties to go online , now I can’t go online. Called my cousin whose ISP is different than mine “I am on TE Data , he is Link Dot Net” , he told me that he is facing difficulties as well. It starts with slow connection then now there is connection at all.

12:44 Can’t connect on 3G network on my mobile phone either “Mobinil”, I am worried and I feel that I am disconnected from the outside world. It seems that regime has launched its own operation “Communication blackout” from now. Earlier there was a breaking news and the news anchorman read some statement from the MOI threatening the protesters , it was like a statement from the 1960s era !

12:49 Tried to call a friend of mine who lives in the other side of Cairo to see the status of internet there but she did not answer because she most probably sleep . I am officially a pain.

12:52 AM No need to worry I know the places of the protests already and the route of the protest in Mohendessin , I was already writing a post about today !! I will return to write that post just in case. It seems that it will be a long night after all or to be correct a long day .

1:15 AM I called my cousin again to check with him , may be something is wrong in my connection but shocked ; no internet nor 3G nor Blackberry service !! His friend called one of the network operators and knew that it is beyond the network ,it came from the government. The government pulled the plug !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:30 AM I am reading Mickey Mouse Magazine , I like this issue !!

3:30 AM heading to bed

11:47 AM I woke up at last , the mosque besides my house started the prayers by reading the Quran , no Mobile phone service at all. I actually needed that sleep.

11:51 AM Al Jazeera  Mubshar is not not available on Nile Sat. Ben Ki Kamon demands the the Egyptian government to respect the freedom of information according to Al Arabiya

11:58 AM I do not know what to do or where to go , I know the route of Mohendessin protest.

12:00 PM Al Jazeera news : the States is upset from the communication blockage , this is the end of Habibi Al Adly. The MOI accuses MB of igniting angry protests in Suez and since yesterday the ministry launched a witch hunt against the MB leaders. The NDP promises to launch a pro- NDP protest. Human rights watch attacked the excessive use of violence.

12:03 PM My family is now against covering the protest , they are scared that there will be  a war against the protest. I feel pessimistic and cowardly because all the indicators speak about a crash bone war. The regime does not give shit to the international world. The Egyptian radio is airing radio interviews with sheikhs calling people not to protest.

12:08 PM Mubarak is said to be going to inaugurate the Cairo book fair 2011 where he will meet bunch of so-called intellectuals.

12:12 PM  Al Jazeera correspondent in Suez , more than 4,000 CSF were deployed , the plain clothed officers are occupying the mosques , the doctors in Al Arbin quarter opened their clinics to the injured who are afraid to go to the hospitals for fear to be arrest. The youth are insisting to go to the street today , expected to be the biggest. Sheikh Hafez Salama will head the prayer in the Gharib mosque. Things are electrified in the area.  The Al Arbin is witnessing a huge deployment like no other in the past few days.

12:18 PM The Egyptian authorities arrest the members of MBs !! Who said that the MB has organized this movement in any way !!?It is a people’s movement !!? Are they fooling themselves ? Or do they fully understand what is going on actually !!?

12:26 PM Rashid Mohamed Rashid returned back to Cairo from Davos , the  industry tycoon seems to be close from heading the cabinet at last. We are walking so fast on Ben Ali’s foot steps.

12:29 PM all parties in Egypt should restore reason according Obama in YouTube interview , Obama advised Mubarak many times to apply political and economic reforms aside of sympathy to the protesters . He also believes that this is an opportunity for Mubarak to adopt political reforms !! PJ Crowley expressed the concern of state department about communication blackout. Hilary Clinton spoke with Abu-Gait. My mobile phone is still dead. Europe is angry for the 1960s communication blockage.

12:35 PM a journalist from Sharkia speaks about communication blockage in the city as well. There will be protests after the Friday and Al Asr prayer in  the major cities of Al Sharkia.

12:38 PM AFP : Mohamed ElBaradei is not praying in a mosque , they did not let him to the mosque but they are paying in public open space with one thousand Egyptian.

12:44 PM The Egyptian authorities blocked Al Tahrir square and closed the famous Omar Markam mosque to prevent anyone from praying there. Facebook issued a statement about the Egyptian users !! Well somebody tell them that the internet was cut since 12:42 AM !

12:47 PM Sawt Al Oma weekly and Al Fagr weekly speak as if Mubarak is heading to Jeddah already !!

12:53 PM AFP : Clashes between the protesters surrounding Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and the security forces in Giza. I feel so isolated

12:58 PM Reuters based on witnesses protesters calling for downing Mubarak near the Mosque where ElBaradei prays.

12:59 PM According to Al Jazeera thousands are protesting at Al Azhar mosque. About 20,000 protesters heading to the center of Al Azhar area.

1:02 PM : According Al Jazeera thousands are protesting at the main mosque in Mania governorate , Upper Egypt. Yes Al Jazeera is my source now. Alexandria is having a strong protest , thousands are protesting too.

1:07 PM : A protest at Mustafa Mahmoud Mosque where Hamden Sabhi prayed. Protests have started in Al Sharkia.

1:13 PM : Thousands of protesters are taking the street and the CSF vehicles  are using water to stop them.

1:24 PM : Thousands are protesting in Mansoura. and are having clashes with security.  Clashes in North Sinai after the prayer. I see footage from Cairo now on Al Jazeera many CSF moving to the Al Tahrir. The CSF have started launching the tear gas grenades. Plain clothed officers and agents tried to create chaos in the mosques. Protesters are being arrested now directly on air.

1:30 Protests in Mataria and Shubra,Cairo . The Egyptian TV is in another world , they were more concerned with the the riots in Lebanon last Tuesday. The Al Jazeera Mubshar has new frequency on Nile Sat. I am watching Down town Al Tahrir right now on the channel right now.

1:40 PM we see a protest at 6 October bridge on Al Jazeera Mubshar , also there is a protest in New Cairo !!! There is a protest in Damietta. Shubra is being blocked , it is like an isolated zone , the police released its thugs to attack the people.

1:41 PM The security forces have detained Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and Dr. Ghazli Harb in the Mosque!!!!

1:45 PM We are watching tear gas grenades. I am coward. AFP : the Egyptian authorities have detained 4 French reporters , JSC host Ahmed Mansour was attacked and detained near at the Press syndication. The JSC landlines are down. The protesters are trying to get closer to the NDP HQ !!

1:50 PM Amin Iskander : Mubarak must leave , the people are humiliated for 30 years , Mubarak must leave with all his regime’s icon. The live broadcast of Al Jazeera is cut. The BBC  Arabic reporter was injured along other protesters.Italy and Canada do  not like what is happening in Cairo. The BBC reporter was not let to be transferred to private hospital. Azza Balbal was attacked and speaking hysterically on BBC Arabic , she was at the Istaqma mosque with ElBaradei

1:59 PM Helwan is calm according to eye witness speaking on BBC Arabic. The Metro does not stop there. BBC Arabic is transferring footage from Giza. The Suez BBC Arabic correspondent is speaking about a protest made of 4000 protesters demanding a Free Egypt. The protesters headed to the Police station of Al Arbin then moved to the governorate HQ building. They are encircling the governorate HQ building. There are old ladies , children , girls and workers in the current Suez protest. There was an attempt to destroy Mubarak image in the governorate at the old Sameh Fahmi office.

2:05 PM It seems that BBC Arabic live broadcast has been also cut as they re-airing old footage. Al Masry Al Youm reporter in Ismailia : the protesters destroyed the banners and gates of the NDP HQ , they are heading to local council and they are angry , we can hear the slogan through the phone. New footage from Cairo , a large protest heading to Al Tahrir . The protesters did not enter the square , they are chanting “ Peaceful” , “Allah Akbar” , “ The people want to down the regime”. Tear gas grenades were thrown and the broadcast has been cut !!

2:12 PM ElBaradei and Ibrahim Eissa were together , I saw Eissa with ElBaradei at his villa in Garna before heading to the Mosque. Thousands in Ismailia have attacked the NDP HQ. There are injuries among the protesters. BBC Arabic showing violent clashes , the protesters are trying to convince the CSF that they want peaceful protest. I feel so coward and useless.

2:18 PM according to BBC Arabic reporter in Giza the people are still arriving at the Giza square , people are trying to save the protesters bringing buckets of water. Giza is isolated from Cairo. Footage again from Giza and I believe that the Tunisian advices are doing great. The Giza protest is made of small protests , it is incredible. There are children and elderly.

2:24 PM According to Al Masry Al Youm reporter in Alexandria , not to less than 100,000 protesters are in Alex , they are more organized thanks to the participation of the MB, more persistent than on Tuesday. They are clashes as usual. 

2:58 PM Al Jazeera is stopped and I have covered a protest besides my home at Nile Street , I heard their voices and saw them at my balcony and I just put a jacket on me and I hurried to them , my aunt came with me. It was great , people mostly from the high middle class were protesting coming from Gamaat Al Doul street. The gas grenades were thrown at the police hospital even before the Galaa street. I forget to say that the gas grenades were smelt in my balcony. The wonderful people of my country were one , distributing gas masks and seven up cans , I took all the masks and the cans in the house and distributed them. I found Khaled Abu Al Nagaa besides me filming the attack and the protest.P.S My grandma smelled the gas in her bedroom too !!

I returned home because I feel so damn sick , this is my first tear gas grenades first experience but I returned back and filmed the people praying in the streets.

4:30 PM going with my aunt in her car to get my other aunt from Zamalak.

6:49 PM Back home after knowing that there is a curfew imposed in great Cairo , Alexandria and Suez from 6 PM to 7 AM. I took photos and footage , this is beyond my expectations ,this is beyond everybody’s expectation !!! I have seen lots of scenes I will not forget in my life. I saw all Egypt in the streets  from all classes and all backgrounds , I saw the real Egyptians who help strangers in time of need. I saw protests in : Gamaat Al Doul street ,Sphinx square , Al Galaa bridge , Opera house , the injured protesters in 6th of October bridge.

This is a summary of what has happened in those hours

  • Mohamed ElBaradei is under house arrest.
  • The NDP HQ in Cairo is burning down.
  • The army was deployed at the ERTV building
  • Mubarak is expected to speak soon.
  • There were 10,000 protesters in Fayoum .
  • Thousands are protesting in Al Arish .
  • The Egyptian TV is claiming that the foreign TV channels are overestimating the matter , the Egyptian official channels are repeating lies , real lies.
  • Earlier in various parts in Egypt  of Egypt people were calling for the army to interfere
  • The people in Damietta have destroyed the city council and the NDP HQ.
  • Hilary Clinton is going to speak about Egypt.
  • We do not have a final count for injured but before 4:30 PM I know that there was 1 dead in Abdel Manam Riyad
  • In Alexandria some police forces refused to attack the protesters. In fact some people say that some forces have joined the people.
  • I took videos and photos for what I saw , of course you do not expect more or intense videos of photos when your two aunts are with you !!
  • There are riots and clashes in Sphinx square , we came through burning riots
  • The people of Suez burned down the Arbin police station and took some weapons from it.
  • There were protests in upscale Maadi and Garden City.
  • There is a protest in Asuit that is still on.

7:10 PM I heard another protest in the Nile Street despite the curfew order.

7:30 PM I got many videos and photos , the BBC correspondent in Al Arish says the locals have closed the international highway. The Egyptian regime decided to extend the curfew to include all Egypt

7:51 PM There are protesters at the ERTU building and the ministry of foreign affairs. The Kuwaiti airlines cancels flights to Egypt. Al Azbakia police station is on fire.

8:07 PM CNN showing footage for people cheering up for the army forces in the streets chanting “Allah Akbar” and “People and army are one”. Hilary spoke about Egypt calling the regime to stop the police practices.

8:31 PM Reuters : The Egyptian security arrested 1000 protesters and 870 are injured .BBC Arabic is showing amazing footage for Egyptian people greeting the army .

8:34 PM Protesters are attack the ERTU building. Al Arabiya is taking the regime’s side , with my all respect we will not forget that you shitty channel. That shitty channel claims that the Egyptian museum is being looted not to mention its guests are all shitty official media cronies.  All official Egyptian channels are having common broadcast , most channels transfer the broadcast of Ch.1

8:41 PM Al Arabiya dear the army does not move for the plea of Khaled Youssef to protect the Egyptian embassy.  Mubarak has not spoken yet , France 24 is speaking about 7 protesters being killed. The NDP in Aswan , Kom Ombo was torched.

Mubarak has not spoken yet , I do not know if he is sick or not. Things are getting from bad to worse for him.  BBC Arabic and Al Jazeera have the best coverage so far.

8:53 PM France 24 showing looters robbing the NDP HQ !!! The regime has released the 4 French reporters. What is happening is revolution , revolutions again do not need the telecommunications networks. Egypt Air suspended its flights to the capital.

9:02 PM The NDP is blaming the government and the government is blaming the NDP. This is second time the army is being deployed and curfew is imposed in the capital in Mubarak’s regime , it happened before in 1987 in what is known the intifada of CSF in 1987 .I always wanted to speak about the 1987 CSF intifada as the MSM always ignored. Washington issued a travel warning to its citizens.

9:16 PM Siyad El-Badawy of Al Wafd saying that we must have a transitional government and a new constitution. He believes that the NDP is dead !!

The Weather suddenly is cold and chilly.

9:28 PM Watching Robert Fisk in Yosri Fouada’s show. Fisk says that he has not scene of the Egyptian street today except in the Iranian revolution blaming the police “disgraceful act”. Rumor that Ahmed Ezz’ companies have been looted. I want to be online bah !!!!! Yosri Fouada says that according to what he saw today , the police attacked protesters first.

9:44 PM Egyptian protesters have formed a cordon to protect the Egyptian museum. Egyptian protesters are tying to enter Al Ahram building chanting anti- Al Ahram slogans !!!!!!! 

9:56 PM News that the Nile Corniche has witnessed fire and looting , already I witnessed fire at some Nile Casino , I filmed it.

The police has withdrawn from Fayoum !! Police stations are being torched and the army has not yet arrived !!

I need someone to help me in my camera flash !! I got a Sony P200.  I should have taken my video handy cam but it was not fully recharged.

10:05 PM The regime denied the news that it extended the curfew geographically to include all Egypt , only the people of Suez torched down the Vodafone network office and the ceramic Cleopatra showroom which is owned by NDP tycoon Mohamed Abu El-Anin. Still the people formed committees like in Tunisia to protect the companies and properties. I think our people know what to destroy in revenge to the NDP and regime.Protesters have entered the main space of  the ERTU building.

The people say to the army “1,2 where the army is!!?”

10:12 PM NASA scientist Farouk El-Baz on TV : Mubarak is isolated from the people because of his adviser. France warned its citizens from travelling to Egypt.

I think that these looters are the MOI thugs who are being destroying and looting the private properties.

10:34 PM Fouada asked Fisk a question I do not think that he would ask after today , about the relation between Sami Anan’s visit and the press conference of Bobby Gates. FYI Sami Anan has returned back to Cairo according to sources.

10:36 PM I got a telephone from New Maadi that the police used live ammunition and two citizens were killed.

10:43 PM Vodafone offices are being attacked , why Vodafone and not Mobinil or Etisalat , is this a game to show that protesting is against FDI !!?

10:48 PM Tanks are being deployed now down town Cairo. Already I am amazed how could the police retry suddenly with waiting for the army’s tanks to protect the Egyptian museum , the Parliament and the cabinet. The army tanks are also protecting

Egyptian protesters group “newly found” has denounced the looting of private properties in a small statement distributed to channels and journalists. The group believes that those looters are the thugs of who released or rather escaped from detention at the Azbakia police station which was torched.

10:59 PM Businessmen and VIPs are leaving the country on private jets through private airports according to Al Jazeera. Ok I got couple of names in my mind like Ahmed Ezz, the Mansour- Maghrabi clan, Abu El-Anin and the Heikal brothers.

The State security building in Damnhour was torched and police stations in several governorates were torched. The death toll in Suez reached to 11 while the Alexandria governorate HQ was completely torched.

I thank the free people of the world who are standing with us in these critical moments , I know that many people are protesting today around the globe supporting us. The least thing to say is thank you.

I feel sleepy. Our neighbors who joined the first protest has returned back safely.

11:07 PM I want to sleep but I fear that I will mess something there is something every minute. Al Jazeera is airing something footage seemed to be filmed by a mobile phone at the ERTU building , people were cheering for the army as if there is a coupe in the country.

Mubarak has not shown his face yet, the man is sick ya people . NDPian Safwat Al Sherif was convicting of pimping officially in 1968 , this was our minister of information for 2 decades and later the head of our Shura council !! The Shura council which was headed by Hussein Heikal !!!

11:22 PM Fathi Sorror, the speaker of the parliament is going to announce an important announcement after short time according to national TV !!!!!!!!!

Has Mubarak died !!?? Will he step down !!? What the fuck !!? Seriously now I am awake . If the President dies , Fathi Sorror is going to be the president for 60 days before having an election.

Mubarak’s regime is over technically.

11:46 PM Sorror has not appeared yet.

FYI the Egyptian protesters in Al Tahrir protected the Egyptian museum , nobody looted the Egyptian museum unlike what other claimed on TV.

12:01 PM Fathi Sorror has not shown yet on TV !! A nice fact of life about Sorror : he has been the speaker of the people’s assembly ! The fires have destroyed the building of NDP HQ and they are spreading to other buildings , the Egyptian museum is in danger !! Where are these fire fighting helicopters !!?

Is Sorror going to be Mbazaa of Egypt !!?

The Egyptian TV has denied the news that VIPs and businessmen have fled the country.

We are technically in a historical moment , how can you describe

#12:11 AM according to Nile News Mubarak is going to speak soon !!!!!!!!!!!! Shit the man is still alive !!!? :/

This means he will not step down.

12:17 AM Mubarak is speaking , his voice is terrible. This is the latest speech an Egyptian president says ever , 12 :17 Am

He is not giving up !! This #&$%

He is defending his forces’ actions. Anyhow Ben Ali made two speeches ,this is the first speech for Mubarak before the last speech and heading to somewhere.

He is claiming that there is a difference between freedom and chaos.

12 :21 AM This is just the Egyptian version of Ben Ali’s first speech before escape. Return back the internet and mobile phone lines your excellency.

12:23 AM He will not give up without a fight !!  Who wrote that provoking badly speech !!?  Ok Mr. reformist we want back our internet !! I have had hope so far but this is not so promising.

12:26 AM President Mubarak has ordered the current cabinet to resign and a new cabinet will be reformed tomorrow or rather after few hours !! Ok not so surprisingly we expected this from for days , a ministerial reshuffle as if the people were protesting against Ahmed Nazif !!! The people demands you down Mr. President !!

Mubarak’s speech is an invitation to chaos in Egypt. I do not feel good at all. Amin Iskander believes that this is the last interview for Mubarak , well I should have taken a screen cap for him then !!

Empty speech for a president who is fighting for life and survival literally. Now I bet Rashid Mohamed Rashid will be the new PM !! Habib Al Adly will be out along with Farouk Hosni and Anas El-Fiki. Most probably the protests will continue and they will be violent and they can turn in to a hunger revolution , the ultimate chaos.

The army position is unclear , either we will have our own Rashid Amar aka Sami Anan who has just come from the States or we will have our 21st century Gamal Abdel Nasser. The timing of the speech is provoking.

12:29 AM Half million protesters are roaming Alexandria which has no army or police !! There were protesters earlier in Monfia.

12:34 AM I see footage on Al Jazeera for protesters clashing with the army :(

12:49 AM Despite we are having curfew , people are still in the streets , old generations that saw old curfews are amazed that no one respected this order. The people in Suez are disappointed with his speech , well guess well all Egyptians are disappointed with his speech. The death toll in Suez increased to 12 and there are currently 20 injured citizens in a critical conditions.

1:05 AM I will head to bed , this day was too long and I have smelt too many tear gas grenades.

Insh Allah we will bring change for Egypt

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4 comments :

  1. So did you protest or just watch? Did you keep a log of every single thing that happened that you saw and then post it later?

    Zeinab you are from an affluent family. Iphones are damn expensive in Egypt as are handycam and digital cams. I think it is great that you feel for the common man. Remember there is a hadith that states that if a people are being oppressed by an unjust leader, it is there duty to defend themselves. It is all about struggle. Your life sounds easy. Instead of buying the latest electronic goods and cell phones, go buy some poor person who goes to bed hungry a meal or 2.

    This is a war of the Haves v. the Have Nots. Nothing more. No religion, no ideology nothing at the center of this. Just about being able to eat, live, love, reproduce and provide a future for one's progeny.

    They waited 2 long and that is why your president is in a severe state of denial. He isn't going anywhere unless someone gets rid of him permanently.

    ReplyDelete
  2. YOUR BLOG IS AWESOME!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Egypt broke my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brothers from Egypt, a politicians most useful weapon is his words, so obviously Mubarraks sentimental speach got to certain people who probably thought ok, its enough. Well, a good advice is never to listen to politicians, rather
    instead of listening to their words, consider their deeds in the past and then judge them by their deeds. In case of Mubarrak and Ben Ali, their track record is clear and their words are meaningless. So please do not listen.

    ReplyDelete

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