Wanderlust…

The International Reporting (and Life) Adventures of Vivian Salama

Egyptians Return to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to Underline Protests

Posted by vmsalama on February 18, 2011

By Vivian Salama and Maram Mazen

Bloomberg (Click here for original story)

CAIRO — Tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in central Cairo today to reassert demands for change, one week after street protests led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, fueling similar demonstrations throughout the Middle East.

Salesmen offered souvenir t-shirts commemorating the protests that started on Jan. 25 to the crowds who packed into Tahrir square. Some carried photographs of people killed during the unrest and others followed regular Friday religious ceremonies with prayers for the dead.

Photo by Vivian Salama

Photo by Vivian Salama

The Health Ministry said yesterday that 365 people were killed during the demonstrations. The Egyptian army on Feb. 13 dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution, meeting demands made by the opposition movement that forced Mubarak from office two days earlier, and said it will rule Egypt until elections are held.

“I’m sure our demands will be met, but it’s better that we all come together again to show them that we’re serious,” said Mahmoud el Hady, a 23-year-old commerce student at Benha University, north of Cairo, who was wrapped in a red, white and black Egyptian flag. “Some people need to go from the old regime. We need to dismantle the national security forces.”

Demonstrations continued today in Bahrain, where people called for democracy and the fall of the government during a funeral procession for two men killed by security forces.

The dissent in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, follows the toppling of autocratic rulers by popular movements in Egypt and Tunisia and marks the spread of dissent into thePersian Gulf, where most of the Middle East’s oil is produced.

Libya, Yemen

The past week has also seen anti-government protests and clashes in Libya, Africa’s biggest holder of crude oil reserves, and Yemen, a producer of liquefied natural gas. Brent crude futures this week rose to the highest level since 2008.

The Egyptian Exchange has been closed since Jan. 27 after the biggest stock selloff in more than two years.

“We want the army to rule temporarily and then never to rule us again,” said Ali Bassam, 45, a physical education teacher. “We want anyone chosen by Hosni Mubarak to leave his position. This country has been a big prison for 30 years.”

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One Response to “Egyptians Return to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to Underline Protests”

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