Protesters plan Coptic mass on 'Martyrs' Sunday'

Salma Shukrallah , Sunday 6 Feb 2011

Protesters prepare for 'Martyrs' Sunday' by surrounding the square's administrative complex and holding a Coptic mass

Coptic mass

Since early Sunday morning, protesters have surrounded Tahrir’s El-Mogamma building, one of Egypt’s largest centres of bureaucracy, to prevent employees from entering. As the working week starts on Sunday, protesters fear that their sit-in will be broken and their demands ignored if life goes back to normal.

At 1pm on “Martyrs’ Sunday”, Coptic Egyptians in Tahrir square are expected to conduct their Sunday mass alongside their Muslim counterparts who are planning to pray for the martyrs of the Egyptian revolt, the hundreds who died in the past twelve days.

After a rainy night, Tahrir square can be seen covered by plastic sheets to protect those that have continued their sit-in despite bad weather.

Aida El-Kashef, who spent the night there, says “people immediately organized themselves to deal with the rain. Groups of young people started setting up rain shelters using long plastic sheets. They did not just give you the plastic, they set it up for you and everyone sleeping in the square.” El-Kashef stressed how impressed she was by the cooperative spirit.

Although it was a relatively calm Saturday night in Tahrir, constant threats of attack disrupted the protesters’ sleep, as has been the case each night since the beginning of the sit-in.

Thousands of people continue their occupation of Tahrir square in preperation for the “Million People Demonstration”, expected to take place on “Martyrs’ Sunday”, and the beginning of “Steadfast Week” or “Resistance Week”. 

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