Tahrir field hospitals up and running again

Sarah Raslan, Monday 21 Nov 2011

Strong sense of unity as volunteer doctors treat injured demonstrators and Tahrir-goers bring first aid supplies

Tahrir field hospitals
Tahrir field hospitals (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

The crowd cleared the way for a group of demonstrators carrying an elderly man choking on tear gas to the centre of Tahrir Square.

Two young doctors in scrubs and white coats helped lower the injured man onto the dirt and grass filled area in the middle of the square that has become known as the ‘Tahrir Hospital’.

A doctor yelled out a list of urgently required items as he searched through a box of medical supplies. An activist frantically typed the list on his phone. It would soon be published on Twitter under the username @TahrirSupplies for activists and Tahrir-goers to bring to the square.

“The sense of community and unity is back in the square,” said Ahmed Adel, one of the Tahrir doctors.

“Except our old friend, the army, has now become the enemy,” said a bandaged demonstrator in response to the doctor.

Approximately five more injured demonstrators were brought to the field hospital over the next 20 minutes. Others were taken to a second field hospital in front of the KFC fast food restaurant.

“Treating the injured protesters here again makes me feel the revolution is about to be completed,” Adel said, who had treated injured protesters in the square during the January 25 Revolution.

According to a Reuters report, the death toll in Tahrir Square has reached 33 since Saturday when clashes began between security forces and protestors. The number of injuries has reached approximately 1,500.

Not too far from Tahrir Square, around 30 young men are being treated at central Cairo’s El-Helal Hospital.

Twenty-three-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud is in a coma in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

Mahmoud’s sister told Ahram Online that he and other young men had been attacked, arrested and accused of being thugs by military police.

Military police handed him over to civilian police at the Abdeen police station and she is worried police interrogated her brother before he slipped into a coma.

She later learned her brother had been accused of murder but had no further information.

It is not unusual for Egyptian police to use force in the interrogation process.

As sit-ins continue across Egypt, activists say the revolutionary spirit in Tahrir Square has been revived and have compared Sunday’s deadly clashes to 28 January, the most violent day of the January 25 Revolution. 

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