Celebrations, farewells and commemorations set for Friday

Menna Taher, Thursday 17 Feb 2011

Throughout Cairo Friday people will mark the events of the 25 January revolution, including honouring the fallen

Tahrir Square
Egyptians dance and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo:AP)


Celebrations, protests, commemorations, farewells as well as awareness campaigns will be taking place all over Cairo tomorrow marking the Egyptian revolution of 25 January. Poetry recitations and music concerts will take place in Tahrir Square in celebration of Mubarak’s departure.

“We also aim to show the Supreme Armed Forces Council that the revolution is not over until all the demands [of the people] are met, and to thank them for their cooperation with us during the protests,” said Mosheera Ahmed, an ex-member of Al-Ghad Party.

Ahmed expressed fear of a counter-revolution and said that many supporters of the old regime and NDP members are starting to join coalitions formed following the revolution. She called for all institutions to rid themselves of their heads and end corruption, criticising labour organisers who say there are more pressing concerns.

On people still detained, Ahmed said they are held by state security forces, not the army. But numerous reports confirm that many are still detained in army prisons and that some torture has been reported.

The group of the 25 January revolution youth that includes Wael Ghoneim, Mostafa El-Naggar, Amr Salama and Mohamed Anis El-Naggar is supporting tomorrow’s celebration yet will not participate in it. Mohamed Anis El-Naggar confirmed that the group is not part of any coalition.

“The movement on the street is over now,” said El-Naggar. “Now the work should be on the political field.” However, El-Naggar supports the unfulfilled demands and believes that some ministers should still resign, including Moushira El-Khatab, state minister for family and population, and Mofeed Shehab, minister for legal and legislative councils.

El-Naggar argues that the street movement should be patient because demands like constitutional change will take time to be implemented. However, he believes that all detainees should be released immediately and is surprised that they haven’t been released already.

A memorial service in the form of a march will start at 1.30pm by the statue of Saad Zaghloul and will continue towards Tahrir Square. Mahmoud Younis, the organiser, said that all participants will wear white, hold flowers and tie a black ribbon on their left arm. "We want to pay respects to the martyrs, to whom we are indepted for the freedom that we will gain," he said. 

Younis also said that each participant would hold a sign with a name of one of the martyrs.

Another gathering will take place in front of the state television headquarters in Maspero. The group will stand in support of tourism.

“There are currently two and a half million workers in tourism,” said Mohamed Kabbany, one of the organisers, “so if each is responsible for a family of four, then currently 10 million people were affected by the departure of tourists from Egypt.”

Kabbany told Ahram Online that local and international broadcast channels like CNN and Al-Arabiya will be covering the event. “We have 20 people who will be wearing Pharaoh costumes, since that’s Egypt’s main symbol.” Some people will be holding pictures of beautiful sites in Egypt.

Two other silent gatherings will be taking place by the presidential palace and Mostafa Mahmoud Square as a farewell to former President Hosni Mubarak.

Dalia Abou El-Wafaa, one of the organizers of the gathering in Mostafa Mahmoud Square denied claims that they are part of a counter-revolutionary effort.

“We are ordinary citizens not affiliated with any political movements,” she said. “I am pro-change, but I was hoping he would resign in a more respectable manner, and that’s why we’re standing there.”

Abou El-Wafaa said that Mubarak has been an icon for 30 years and should be appreciated. “It is our way of saying goodbye,” she said. “We will also shoot some video of our gathering to send to the presidential palace, and maybe they could send it to him.”

Despite their appreciation of the president, the group will not forget the martyrs of the revolution. They will all be wearing black and will observe a moment of silence in honour of those who died in the revolution.

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