Egypt's post-revolution timeline: Two years of turmoil

Hatem Maher, Wael Eskandar, Randa Ali, Friday 25 Jan 2013

On the second anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, Ahram Online looks back at the watershed moments that have shaped Egypt's post-Mubarak political trajectory

A man sits in front of a mural at Tahrir Square depicting people who died in the first year of the Egypt's revolution (Photo: Reuters)


11 February – Millions of Egyptians who had been protesting for 18 days in Cairo's Tahrir Square celebrate news of Hosni Mubarak's stepping down, announced by the late Omar Suleiman.

25 February – A couple hundred protesters are attacked by the military with sticks, severely injuring some of them. The attack was against a planned sit-in to protest against Prime Minster Ahmed Shafiq, who had been appointed by Mubarak. The military apologises the next day, claiming the attacks were unintentional.

5 March – Protesters hone in on the infamous State Security Investigations headquarters in Nasr City, eventually storming the building. Nasr City State Security was one of the worst in regards to the torture of civilians, according to protesters. On the same day, the governorate of Helwan witnesses sectarian clashes that result in the burning down and demolition of a church in the Atfeeh district.

8 March – Clashes break out in Manshiet Nasser, Moqattam, as Copts protest the burning of the church in Atfeeh, resulting in several deaths and numerous injuries. Some witnesses blame the army for the deaths with allegations surfacing of the use of live ammunition.

9 March – The Tahrir Square sit-in that had been held since February is dispersed violently by army personnel and men in plainclothes. The dispersal is the most violent action since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took over. Numerous activists are beaten and tortured in the Egyptian Museum, while the army performs virginity checks on 19 female protesters.

14 March – A Coptic sit-in outside Maspero (the state television building) to protest the demolition of the church in Atfeeh ends voluntarily by some members upon the army's promise to rebuild the church. Those that remain are dispersed violently.

19 March – The first post-Mubarak referendum on constitutional amendments proposed under SCAF supervision takes place in Egypt. Many Egyptians line up in front of polling stations for the first time in their lives.

23 March – On the same day the cabinet approves a law criminalising protests, a protest held by students in the faculty of mass communications at Cairo University is dispersed violently by the army.

30 March – After 11 days of waiting for supposedly simple amendments of the constitution, based on the results of the 19 March referendum, a constitutional declaration is announced by the SCAF.

8 April – Mass protests take place in Tahrir to demand the full dismantling of the old regime. Some army officers join the protests in uniform. The military violently disperses the protests with help from police and arrests the renegade army officers.

7 May Churches are attacked in Imbaba as Salafists demand custody of a woman who allegedly converted to Islam but is reportedly held by the Church.

14 May – Coptic demonstrators are attacked while holding a sit-in outside Maspero to protest deadly Christian-Muslim clashes that left one church burnt and 15 people dead.

15 May - 'Nakba Day' witnesses protests outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo in solidarity with Palestinians. Demonstrators are dispersed using live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets leaving 350 people injured. Over 150 protesters are arrested.

27 May – Protesters take to the streets and public squares around Egypt in what is known as the "Second Day of Rage" to demand that the revolution run its course.

28 June– A premeditated attack on slain protesters' families at the Balloon Theatre in Agouza triggers protests in Tahrir Square. Clashes between protesters and police continue through the night turning into mass protests the next day.

8 July – Protesters stage one of their trademark million-man marches in Tahrir Square to pressure the army into speeding up trials of former regime figures and police officers accused of killing demonstrators in January. A sit-in follows.

23 July – Thousands of protesters march from Tahrir Square to the Ministry of Defence to decry unmet demands of the 8 July sit-in. Attacks on protesters result in the death of activist Mohamed Mohsen.

29 July – The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties hold a massive demonstration in Tahrir Square to demand the implementation of Islamic Law. The protest was later referred to as 'Kandahar Friday.'

1 August – Police violently disperse a sit-in in Tahrir Square on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, leaving several people injured.

3 August – The trial of ousted president Mubarak begins. The former president, wheeled into a courtroom cage on a bed, pleads not guilty to charges of killing protesters and abuse of power.

18 August – An Egyptian army officer and two security personnel are killed during an Israeli raid on militants along the Egyptian-Israeli border, sparking public anger against the Zionist state.

9 September – Angry over the killing of several Egyptian army officers and security personnel on the Egyptian-Israeli border, protesters storm the Israeli embassy building in Giza, sending hundreds of documents out of the window of the building and into the streets below.

30 September – Muslim extremists burn down the 71-year-old Mar Girgis Church in Merinab village near the city of Edfu, located in the southern Aswan governorate of Egypt.

5 October – Military police violently disperse hundreds of angry Coptic demonstrators attempting to stage a sit-in outside the state TV premises (Maspero) to protest the attack on the Mar Girgis Church.

9 October – At least 25 Coptic Christians are killed following clashes with the army in front of Maspero in one of the bloodiest days since Mubarak left office.

18 November – Hundreds of thousands protest in Tahrir Square and in other cities to demand that the army swiftly hand over power. Islamists, protesting controversial 'supra-constitutional principles,' dominate the demonstrations.

19 November – Hundreds are injured as the army bombards a small group of protesters with teargas. Violence escalates in the next few days on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, one of the streets leading to Tahrir Square, leaving more than 40 dead.

21 November – The cabinet, led by embattled Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, submits its resignation in the wake of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes.

22 November – Egypt’s de facto ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, promises that the army will hand over power to an elected president before the end of June 2012.

25 November – Tens of thousands flock to Tahrir Square for the 'Friday of Martyrs' to reiterate demands that Egypt’s ruling SCAF step down.

16 December – An army crackdown on protesters staging a sit-in in front of the Cabinet headquarters near Qasr Al-Aini Street in Downtown Cairo sparks fresh violence that leaves 17 dead.

23 December – Tens of thousands protest in Tahrir Square against the latest army crackdown on demonstrators, holding aloft banners of a woman who was partially stripped and dragged by soldiers.


23 January – Egypt's first post-revolution Islamist-led parliament holds its opening session, with thousands marching to it to demand the realisation of the revolution's demands.

25 January Hundreds of thousands take the streets of Egypt to mark the first anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, chanting against the ruling SCAF to demand 'justice for the revolution's martyrs.'

2 February – On 1 February, 70 Ultras Ahlawy members (hardcore football fans) are killed in clashes between the Masry and Ahly football clubs in Port Said Stadium. Many later suggest that the massacre was punishment for the Ultras' activism during the revolution and for chanting 'Down with SCAF' at an earlier football match. The following day, thousands of protesters and Ultras march to the interior ministry to protest the stadium massacre. Clashes later erupt with security forces leaving hundreds injured.

2 May At least 11 are killed after unknown assailants attack a peaceful sit-in by supporters of Salafist leader Hazem Abu-Ismail.

23, 24 May Egypt witnesses its first post-revolution presidential elections, with millions of voters lining up over two days to cast ballots. By the end of the second day, rumours circulate that Mubarak-era aviation minister Ahmed Shafiq and Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi have both made it to the run-off round.

28 May Thousands of protesters gather in Tahrir Square to demonstrate against the results of the first round of the presidential elections, which left Shafiq and Morsi to face one another in a presidential runoff slated for 16 and 17 June. On the same night, the headquarters of Shafiq's presidential campaign is torched by unknown assailants.

2 June – During a mass protest in Tahrir Square, presidential runners-up Hamdeen Sabbbahi, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Khaled Ali call for the formation of a 'presidential council' as an alternative to the two final candidates.

15 June More protests are held against Ahmed Shafiq's presence in the presidential runoff, with protesters warning of "a return to the Mubarak era" in the event of a Shafiq victory.

24 June Egypt's Supreme Electoral Commission announces Mohamed Morsi as the country's first civilian president.

30 June Morsi is officially sworn in as president after taking the presidential oath before Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC).

8 July – Morsi issues his first presidential decree demanding the reinstatement of the dissolved People’s Assembly, parliament's lower house. The move provokes mass protests by revolutionary forces who denounce the decree. Members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood rally to support Morsi’s decision.

10 July The HCC, the same court that ordered the dissolution of the People's Assembly after ruling it unconstitutional, freezes Morsi's decree reinstating parliament's lower house.

5 August Sixteen Egyptian border guards are killed by unknown assailants on the Egypt-Israel border. The attack is the first in a series of assaults targeting security personnel in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula.

8 August – Armed forces sources reveal that the military's 'Operation Eagle,' originally aimed at securing vital establishments in the Sinai Peninsula, has evolved into combat engagements with Sinai-based militants.

12 August President Morsi carries out a reshuffle that leads to the resignation of SCAF leaders Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief-of-Staff Sami Anan, effectively ending military rule and Egypt's post-revolution interim phase.

11 September Mass protests erupt across the Muslim world following the appearance of a US-made film mocking Islam and the Prophet Mohamed. More than 70 are killed as a result of these protests, including the US ambassador to Libya. At least 250 protesters and 24 security personnel are injured in Egypt alone.

10 October A court acquits all defendants, including several Mubarak-era officials, accused of killing of protesters during the infamous 2 February 2011 'Battle of the Camel.'

12 October Revolutionary forces stage protest dubbed 'Accountability Friday' to mark the end of Morsi’s first 100 days in office and push for the fulfilment of revolutionary demands. It is later reported that Muslim Brotherhood supporters had attacked protesters, leaving more than 100 injured.

19 November Thousands march to Cairo's Mohamed Mahmoud Street to commemorate the victims of last year's clashes on the same street. The commemoration, however, quickly turns violent, with two activists – Ahmed Naguib and Gaber 'Jika' Salah – killed in fighting with police.

22 November President Morsi issues another controversial decree making his decisions impervious to judicial challenge. Egypt’s judiciary sees the move as an attack on judicial independence.

23 November Over 30 opposition groups organise mass protests against the president's decree. The demonstrations, however, are overshadowed by clashes between supporters and opponents of the president in governorates throughout Egypt. Several of the Muslim Brotherhood's regional offices are torched by unknown assailants.  

24 November A number of judges declare a strike until President Morsi's declaration is overturned.

25 November 15-year-old Muslim Brotherhood member Islam Fathi is killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of the president in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour.

27, 30 November Thousands march to Egypt’s public squares to condemn President Morsi's "dictatorial" declaration.

1 December The president sets the date for a popular referendum on Egypt's draft constitution at 15 December despite opposition pressure to postpone the poll until 'national consensus' is reached over the new charter's contents. Hundreds of thousands march to Cairo University to support the president's decree and the draft constitution and to demand implementation of Islamic Law.

4 December Mass protests continue to demand the cancellation of Morsi's decree. For the first time, hundreds of thousands march on Cairo's Presidential Palace to demand the postponement of the constitutional referendum.

5 December Egypt's Presidential Palace witnesses a bloody night that leaves at least seven killed and hundreds injured after Morsi supporters allegedly attack a peaceful sit-in held by the president's opponents. The Muslim Brotherhood, however, says that most of the victims are group members.

6 December Several regional offices of the Muslim Brotherhood are again torched across the country as protests continue to demand that the constitutional referendum be postponed.

8 December President Morsi revokes his controversial declaration but states that the referendum will still take place on 15 December.

11 December Egypt is divided between mass protests in support of Morsi's constitutional declaration in front of Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque and a counter-rally demanding the decree's cancellation outside the Presidential Palace.

14 December One day before the country votes on the draft constitution, clashes erupt in Alexandria after controversial preacher Ahmed El-Mahalawy urges the public to vote 'yes' in the referendum.

25 December Egypt formally approves the new constitution.


18 January Thousands of Ultras Ahlawy members rally in Tahrir Square in anticipation of a 'not guilty' verdict – due to be delivered on 26 January – in the ongoing trial of last year's Port Said stadium disaster.

21 January Clashes erupt between security forces and protesters after presiding judges in the trial of police officers accused of killing protesters during the revolution step down only one day before delivering a verdict. Dozens of activists are arrested.

23 January Ultras Ahlawy members temporarily block the Cairo metro before staging protests in Tahrir Square and blocking the nearby 6 October Bridge as part of a 'roving protest' to demand a prompt verdict in the Port Said stadium trial.

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