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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Egypt: Protests, prayers and a wedding on Martyrs' Sunday in Tahrir

Those killed since the demonstrations started on 25 January were remembered Sunday as protesters again turned out in their thousands in a show of defiance and unity

Salma Shukralla, Monday 7 Feb 2011
Tahrir Square
Egyptian anti-Mubarak slogans designed by stone are written by protesters at Tahrir square (Photo: AP)

In commemoration of those who died in the past ten days and with hope that the revolution's demands will come to pass, Tahrir Square witnessed on Sunday a unique day filled with prayers and festivities.

Following the tens of thousands of Muslims who conducted mid-day prayers on Friday, a Christian mass was held using microphones set at the square's now centre stage. Stressing that both religions live in harmony in the “New Egypt”, born after the revolution, several banners held the signs of the cross and crescent.

The hundreds of thousands of demonstrators came together from across Egypt and different social, political and religious backgrounds to pray, sing and chant side by side.

Although it is now termed the “Youth Revolution”, people of all ages could be seen. Hundreds of children walked besides their parents, waved Egyptian flags and took part in street drawing, an activity now common in the square.

The rocks chattered around the streets of Tahrir, rocks that were used in the running battles between demonstrators and thugs, are now laid side by side to write the word “Irhal” (leave) and “GO”.

Large banners around the square displayed the pictures of the Martyrs who were killed at the hands of the police during the uprising.

The sadness was laced with joy as the day also witnessed the marriage of two demonstrators.

Different groups contributed to the atmosphere with their performances, some taking to the stage. Eskenderella, a popular band amongst Egyptian youth known for their politicized songs, were among the day's performers.

People, strangers to one another, entered into discussions and offered each other food, water and even blankets during the night.

As has been the case in the past week, military tanks stood at every entrance leading to Tahrir and people entering were stopped and searched by “popular committees”, civilian bodies created to assure the safety of the area.

Amidst all the continuing negotiations over how to end Egypt's “crisis”, demonstrators are defiant that they will remain in the square until Mubarak steps down.

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