(btw this was originally a blog but i decided to turn it into a discussion so that we can all discuss about it)
Hello nerdfighters! So in this blog post (as the title suggests) I shall explain the current situation in Egypt from the words of an actual Egyptian nerdfighter (and I will respect punctuation unlike other usual situations). I know John's last video explained the revolution in Egypt pretty damn well, but I will quote him when I say that "The truth resists simplicity", so here it is: (btw I'm writing everything from my memory, so some stuff won't be exactly accurate)
Jan 25: ok, so it all started here (as most of Egyptians suggest), a group of people (mostly young people like us) started a couple of protests, these protests had certain goals and were non-violent, they were people who just wanted a better place to live in. Of course the police was always there, the police was always seen by most of Egyptians as the bad guys (just like John said).
Jan 26 - 27: the protests continue with more people joining and it felt like it's going to be a battle.
Jan 28 (also known here in Egypt as "The Friday of Anger"): to me, this is when the mother of all shit happened (sorry for the language), many people joined the protests and it was turning into a chaos. So the police interfered violently with the protests, and by violently I mean expired tear gas grenades (which can cause some serious inflammation in the eye glands) and well, this video explains almost everything: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbKUFEXxvhY (btw the title says: The video that Mubarak doesn't want to show to the world). Cell phones and internet connections were cut off in the early morning. Thugs took advantage of the situation to break into shops, because the police was off guard. Wadi El-Natron (one of the major prisons here in Egypt) prisoners escaped as well as a lot of other prisons (that's a hell lot of bad guys on the loose). Also, there was a curfew and everybody should stay at home from 6pm to 7am.
Here's what happened after you saw John's video:
Jan 29: same as Jan 28 and even worse. The police failed to hold off the angry protesters and eventually retreated. That morning, Carrefour (a chain of the major department stores here in Egypt) was literally stripped out of everything, there was absolutely nothing left. Eventually, the army kicked in (yay!), and as John suggested, the people welcomed the army which was considered as their allies. The army started to organize streets and caught several thugs who broke into shops. Later that night, Hosni Mubarak announced that he would replace the current government with a whole new set of ministers and have a vice president (Egypt never had a vice president since the previous president El-Sadat, which means that he is planning on something fishy). More thugs kept on robbing shops and stores, so a lot of citizens went downstairs with their weapons to defend their homes and shops with the help of the army (I also went downstairs, they joined forces with the army against the thugs. I was there and it was beautiful how we helped each other, although I'm not sure I could use the world beautiful in these dark times). Tanks and halftracks were patrolling the streets and many thugs were caught with the help of the citizens. The curfew was extended to be from 4pm to 8am.
Jan 30: angry protests continue to storm the streets. Now that the police is gone and the army on their side, I will let you imagine the situation yourself. Many regions remained unprotected and yes it's as bad as it may seem. My place however, was well protected, thank God we live right beside an army training place thingy. The curfew is now from 3pm to 8am.
Jan 31 - Feb 1 - Feb 2: things are starting to get better, many unprotected regions are now safer and more thugs are being caught. A lot of protesters wanted Mubarak to leave. Later that night in the 2nd of Feb, Mubarak made a speech that states that he won't be nominating himself during the next elections, which means no more Mubarak after 6 months. He was planning on leaving his position with a "white face" (if you know what I mean) and apparently he somehow succeeded.
Feb 3: after the speech the previous night (and some cheesy songs about loving Egypt), many people were reminded of what Mubarak accomplished in the past years, and they were like: "Hey wait a second, if we removed Mubarak now, who would be the president. We're gonna have a major problem here and it will be even worse. We have to keep Mubarak, Mubarak is good for us". But others were like: "What?! How can you listen to this traitor, he's trying to fool of us just like he did the last times (times not time, a lot of times). No! We won't be fooled again, not anymore! Down with Mubarak!!". So Egypt was basically split into two sides, the people who want Mubarak to stay, and those who want him to leave, and there were several clashes between the two and many people were injured and some even died. Some felt like it's gonna evolve into a civil war and America's gonna take advantage of the situation (just like Iraq), but I was all like: "Chill out people, this is Obama we are talking about, not Bush" (let me know if i was right in the comments). The police started to make a comeback, the police is no longer seen as "the bad guys" no more, because there's a new minister now.
Feb 4 (aka. Tomorrow, aka. The Friday of Salvation): There are currently a lot of protesters (of both sides) gathered up in El-Tahrir square, getting ready for tomorrow. Many people believe that the president would be forced to leave tomorrow. However, the media did a good job in convincing a lot of people that "You've already made your point, it's enough, you don't have to make him leave, just give him a chance for him to leave by himself", so a lot of protesters decided to go back home and they asked the army (who was surrounding the place) to let them go home (and the army welcomed them to go back). Finally, the protesters agreed to create their own political party.
My personal opinion: "Egypt is weak with Mubarak, but even worse without leadership"
I just hope nobody gets hurt tomorrow :(
Nerdfighters, please leave me your opinions and pray for nobody to get hurt, and I'm extremely sorry to bore you with this long-ass article. I officially hate myself now (jk jk) and you have all the right to hate me for boring you :)
Update: I'm gonna update this thingy through out the day Feb 4:
2:00pm : people are protesting in El-Tahrir sq. since yesterday, they have food and everything out there so they can stay for quite a bit long time, a lot of these protesters come from far away out of Cairo, leaving their families, and very few returned back home. Mubarak stated that he wants to leave but he fears to leave the country without a president.Everybody is confused wether to trust him or not. Also, more protesters are going back home.
Nerdfighters, tell me, Mubarak to trust or not to trust??
7:00pm : people are still protesting in El-Tahrir sq., it's been a while now..
It's now like 1:28am in Jan 5, the protesters are still in El-Tahrir, they have enough food supply and they can stay there for days. Also, the army is surrounding the place only to make sure that nobody is harmed, but not against them.
I'm sorry if i didn't reply to your comments, I will reply to them later, I'm so lazy right now..
Update: (Feb 7)
Ok, so to sum it up, people have been protesting, eating, sleeping and practically camping in El-Tahrir sq. for more than a week now, they are helping each other, they feel united like one nation, they made themselves a small community there. Some of them say that they won't leave until Mubarak leaves. People who live there also help them, they make food for them, nurse those who were hurt, let them sleep at their homes, use their bathrooms, and so far they've very helpful and supportive. Let's all just hope the best for Egypt :)
Update: (Feb 10)
So, basically there are now two theories:
The first one said that he would step down, and the other says that he would step aside (meaning that he would still be presidents put give his powers to his vice president).
Also, the army made an important meeting without Mubarak. Being the president, he is supposed to be the highest rank in the army, and he should attend ALL the meetings, so it's a big thing to have a meeting without him (I feel something coming)..
That night, he made a speech, he didn't say anything new, only the usual shit (ex. I care about you, I will make sure that everything returns normal. You know.. the usual shit).
So, people are now unsatisfied, and by "unsatisfied" i mean "they're fucking pissed off", they were expecting him to step down, or at least step aside for someone else, but no, must crush Egyptians' hope! mwahahahaha!
Update: (Feb 11)
Protests, more protests, giant squid of anger. That night, I think around 8:00pm or 9:00pm, the vice president (Omar Sleman) announced that:
MUBARAK STEPPED DOWN!!!
.. and the army will take over till the next elections, yaaaaaaaay!!!
and we will all live happily ever after..
You're welcome :)
Stay tuned for updates, I'm gonna update this thingy regulary until this whole thing over (hopefully). And it's also very important for the protestors to not FTBA.
Cheers from far away, friend. I'll personally say that I don't believe that Obama will interfere with the situation, at least not with force. He wants Mubarak to step down now and for there to be elections as soon as possible, and it seems like he's willing to help facilitate peaceful negotiation if need be. If there is a civil war, I don't expect that the US will be directly involved. Here in the colleges the attitude is very much one of pro-democracy. We were stunned when Mubarak ordered the Internet to be turned off.
I have a question though. I've read some of the news reports, and some of them mention the Muslim Brotherhood. I know that they are a very conservative political group, but how large is their organization in Egypt? How involved are they with the protests?
1. I didn't find this boring at all.
2. The Dutch television depicts all this stuff really good.
3. There is a guy, who was banned or something like that and is going to be president when Mubarak leaves.
4. There sure were some shocking images of the 'civil war' in Cairo. That was just too terrible to see. :(
5. How could you survive without internet?! For how long was internet off?
Have you read Little Brother by Cory Doctorow? There might be some stuff in there that would be helpful for the local activists who are tech-savvy with the necessary resources. Most of it regards circumventing surveillance and censorship. A lot of the activism stuff is in his more recent novel For the Win.
And even if they're not helpful...read the books anyway. They're fantastic. Some of my favorites of all time. They're fiction...but not, if that makes any sense.
I'm not familiar with that and some of it especially on surveillance might be applicable. Although I doubt Egypt has the resources to put a CCD camera on every corner like the UK has done.
But for the record regarding the Internet, Egypt actually removed their gateway routers from the backbone. Thus this wasn't like the laughable DNS filtering so popular in US schools - which serves no purpose other than to get nerds dates with cheerleaders (not that that isn't of national importance too). Nor is it like the ISP filtering the Nazis running Australia so crave. Egypt pretty much literally unplugged the network cable. There really isn't any way to circumvent that.
Actually the alternative I immediately considered was Amateur Radio. It is possible that the government issued an order for them to stop transmitting. But they may have completely forgotten about that method of communication.
For those wondering you can transmit voice/data anywhere in the world with no additional infrastructure at all. The speed is more like slow dial up than DSL, but it definitely works great for text (email, blogs etc). Every summer in the US there's a competition called Field Day. It is a disaster preparedness nationwide contest / drill. The competition consists of setting up a radio station from scratch, not using pre-existing stuff and then seeing how many people you can contact. There are different classes for people who operate without mains power (solar etc) and no one gets to use their shiny 200 foot towers.
I agree that there should be a leader, but honestly, if you guys had to revolt, apparently multiple times from your post, then it is time to change. Being the history obsessor I am, I would like to remind you all of the Enlightenment, and the American revoltuion, where we Americans got frazzeled over some taxes, and dumped tea into a harbor. But anyway, the main thing is Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke said that the government's power comes from the power that the GOVERNED gives it. If the governed has suffered a long train of abuses, like you guys have, then it is the right, the OBLIGATION, of the governed to tear down the government that has been so abusive in its power, and build up a new governing power, to protect the natural rights of life, liberty and property.
I completely just paraphrased and shortened my US History essay, I got an A- on it and I never expected to be able to use it again. I hope that it at least SEEMS relevant.
Wow, this is even better than the Al Jazeera live-feed. Kudos. And good luck.
well apparently we DONT live happily ever after :'( we live sadly ever after....
Yeah from what I heard things didn't go so smoothly. But I haven't much in recent months. What has happened since there were supposed to be elections? Can you update us?
Also, I've been periodically keeping an eye on protest movements more generally. Occupy Wall Street movement in particular - a global thing and still ongoing - draws a lot of strength from the bravery of Egyptian people and what is being called the Arab Spring more generally. So even though things are rough, remember that you are part of some of the bravest most inspiring people of our modern times, who have not just overthrown Mubarak - but helped all peoples around the world begin to think anew, and act with courage. This is a truly awesome and spectacular thing. We stand beside you. Or in front of our computers as the case may be (not in the slightest bit demanding but the support is still there). You are not alone and you are a leader. Be proud!
There is no need to say to an Egyptian DFTBA. You are it's very definition.
thx for the support we really appreciate it since many people blame protesters for whats happening instead of thanking them...... thx again :)