13 August 2011
Follow Watani’s website for a minute by minute update of the “Friday for a civil State”. Some 40 tweets appeared on Watani’s twitter account updating our readers with the happenings.
Hundreds arrive to Tahrir holding a 100 metre-long Egyptian flag.
The Army and the Police witness the rally as the square fills up.
The crowds cheer: “Civil, civil, we want it civil!”
Fears of a prospective attack on the part of Security and Army troops after the numbers of security troops pouring on Tahrir increase.
A group calls: “The people want to topple the Field Marshall.”
Sheikh Alaa’ Abul-Azayem arrives to Tahrir.
A communal sufi iftar in which the Copts did not take part.
During iftar time, the Maspero Youth Union call: “Civil, civil, we want it civil!”
Cheers of “Stand up Mina (a common Coptic name), stand up Bilaal (a common Muslim name). The Revolution is the cross and the crescent!”
“Egypt is civil, we don’t want it religious!”
“Raise up your voices, we don’t fear death!”
“Field Marshall! Field Marshall! We too are in Tahrir (referring to the 25 January Revolution which took place in Tahrir)!”
Movements by the Security troops frighten the young people who then call: “Peaceful, peaceful!”
“Go away Field Marshall! Legitmacy derives from Tahrir!”
“Down with the rule of the soldiers!”
More people pour into Tahrir. Cheers against the Army rise: “Go out of Tahrir!”
Cheers calling for the Army and Security to go out of Tahrir increase.
More Army troops in Tahrir.
All is peaceful in Tahrir.
The Maspero Youth Union sets up a large platform in front of Hardee’s coffeshop.
Sufis take over the Maspero Youth Union platform.
Sheikh Abul-Azayem goes on the platform. Sounds of religious chanting can be heard everywhere.
Religious chanting and cheers of: “Civil, civil!” fill the square.
Skirmishes erupt in Tahrir.
The Army and Tahrir’s youth throw stones at each other, while the youth call: “Peaceful!”
The Army shoots in the air.
Calls from Tahrir’s youth to unite the ranks in order to protect Tahrir against the Army.
Cheers of: “The people and the Army are one hand!” can be heard.
The stone-throwing stops, and cheers supporting the Army are heard.
Arguments in Tahrir between those who are for and those who are against the Army.
Copts and Muslims are on the platform chanting: “Egypt, Egypt.”
Patriotic songs can be heard from the platform, sung from sheikhs and, with them, a monk Fr Qozman.
Fr Kozman goes on the platform along with Sheikh Abul-Azayem.
Patriotic songs can be heard everywhere in Tahrir.
Fr Kozman stresses on the essentiality of a civil State. “We find no problem in saying ‘In the Name of Allah the most Merciful’ or ‘In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, the One God’” he said.
“We will always remain one hand in a civil, secular State.”
Abul-Azayem: “The nation is one texture. We are all working towards the evolution of the nation. We should thank the Army which allowed today’s gathering, and we should not attack it.”
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Later in the evening several youthful ensembles presented performances which were met with huge enthusiasm from those in the square. Finally, around midnight, the organisers rose on the platform to spell out their demands of a civil, constitutional State where freedoms of expression and belief are secured.
The square was cleaned up and the demonstrators dispersed.