Egypt's Liberation Square 1 day after Mubarak

Salma Shukrallah , Saturday 12 Feb 2011

The hub of the Egyptian revolution, Tahrir Square is still swarming with people, now in celebration mode

Tahrir Square
An anti-government protester carries his belongings as he makes his way out of Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

After the many hours of celebration which went on all night long in Tahrir, the square is still receiving thousands on Saturday morning.

Families, young men and women, old people and children can still be seen roaming the square. The tents that previously sheltered the tens of thousands that stayed overnight are still standing, and the roads leading to the square young men and women continue to stand guard, searching visitors and checking their identities.

The scene in Tahrir remains the same but with the people looking more hopeful and in celebratory mode after the sit-in’s long stressful nights and days. Happily and aimlessly people lingered around after their long standing demand had finally materialized.  However, some still held banners demanding Mubarak should be prosecuted and tried.   

Hundreds of passersby stop to take pictures with the army, especially little children who enjoyed climbing on the military tanks.

In the middle of the square a priest and a sheikh shook hands and hugged to have their picture taken together.

Groups meanwhile congregate all around the square debating future perspectives and commenting on newspaper coverage of the revolution.  Coffee shops surrounding the square are packed with patrons, engaged in the same pursuit.

Street vendors, as in previous days, roamed around Tahrir to cater to the thousands still flooding downtown to visit the now historic location.

Maintaining the revolution’s spirit to take responsibility for the country’s well-being, tens of young people wore masks and gloves and held brooms to clean the square of the celebrations’ leftovers.

Visiting the tent where I left my jacket three weeks ago, when the sit-in first started, I was surprised to find it still laying there despite the thousands of strangers that have used it and had access to its contents.

The non-stop chanting of the past 18 days has diminished, however, though bunches of children could still be heard repeating slogans they had come to learn during the heady days of the Egyptian revolution.

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