Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Hyde Park of Egypt

Tahrir Square has become the Hyde Park of Egypt, with everyone free to express their opinion for the first time in thirty years. Hundreds of people are displaying signs, small and large, from individual grievances to calls for the release of political prisoners, to demands for the army to immediately make more sweeping changes in the government.

The Hyde Park of Egypt

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Tahrir Square has become the Hyde Park of Egypt, with everyone free to express their opinion for the first time in thirty years. Hundreds of people are displaying signs, small and large, from individual grievances to calls for the release of political prisoners, to demands for the army to immediately make more sweeping changes in the government.

Islamists are holding lists of their comrades who are still being held in prison. Individual teachers, engineers, professors, etc. are holding hand lettered placards, mostly damning the Mubarak regime’s corruption and asking the army to fire all cabinet members who belonged to his governing party.

Among the more moving signs I saw was a long banner with a picture of Lt. Ahmed Shamli, an officer who gave his rifle to his colleagues and joined the demonstrators last week. He has been sentenced to 25 years. His brother Wael, who was holding one end of the banner, said he’d visited Ahmed in prison yesterday and his brother had said, “If they send me to my death, I’m still happy I did what I did.”

Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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