Clashes in Cairo Extend Arab World’s Days of Unrest

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After days of protests in the Arab world that have toppled one president and shaken many others, thousands of demonstrators calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak poured from mosques across the Egyptian capital after noon prayers on Friday, clashing with police who fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons.

Witnesses said a crowd of at least 10,000 people was moving east from Cairo’s Mohandeseen neighborhood, trying to reach the central Tahrir Square that has been an epicenter of protest. But police lobbed tear-gas to try, blocking their access to a key bridge across the River Nile from the island of Zamalek. Some demonstrators stamped on photographs of the president and others chanted “Down, down with Mubarak.”

Near Al Azhar mosque in old Cairo, thousands of people flooded onto the streets after noon prayers chanting “The people want to bring down the regime.” Police fired tear-gas and protesters hurled rocks as they sought to break though police lines. From balconies above the street, residents threw water and lemon to protesters whose eyes were streaming with tear gas.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt

19 Comments
Posted January 28, 2011 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. NoVA Scout wrote:

These developments are welcome and worrisome at the same time.  American policy in this region has been so maladroit for so long that the possibility of these events being hopeful for the development of moderate, democratic forces is outweighed by the spectre of increasingly anti-American, theocratic regimes.

January 28, 9:29 am | [comment link]
2. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

It’s Obama’s fault.  He has kept Guantanamo open despite his many promises to close it and his heated rhetoric about the place, remained in Iraq for a year and a half beyond his promised exit date, and greatly expanded the war in Afghanistan…all while overseeing the rapid decline of the US Dollar, the world’s reserve currency that is used exclusively in Oil Trading.  Now, the “Muslim Street” is exploding in violence. Basically, Obama lied in his campaign promises and now people are dying.  Obama Lied, People Died!

January 28, 10:51 am | [comment link]
3. Katherine wrote:

I ask your prayers for the people of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt.  Broadcasting live on CNN now is video of tear gas being fired on protesters on the 6 October Bridge spanning the Nile from the east bank to the island of Zamalek.  An army vehicle just drove past, the first reported appearance of the army.  The All Saints Cathedral is less than half a mile away.

January 28, 11:41 am | [comment link]
4. graydon wrote:

When Iran was going through this during the early 80s or so, Jimmie Carter supported the Ayatollah Khomeini against the repressive regime of the Shah of Iran.  We are living with that bad bet today.  Those who see the events in Egypt are the start of something good might want to keep that in mind.

January 28, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
5. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

I was greatly concerned to learn on Al Jazeera that the Muslim Brotherhood announced they are getting involved. That is bad news for any sort of moderate governmental solution. Those guys make the Ayatollah look pretty tame.

January 28, 1:34 pm | [comment link]
6. Katherine wrote:

The Brotherhood apparently stayed out until its leadership decided the winds are blowing in favor of regime change.  With the army in the streets now it’s hard to say what will happen.  The military was said to be opposed to a Mubarak son’s succession; they prefer another military man, like Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak in turn.  No one knows if reasonably free elections would put the Brotherhood in power, or whether liberal groups would prevail.

January 28, 3:11 pm | [comment link]
7. NoVA Scout wrote:

wow.  No. 2 really has forsaken nuance.

January 28, 3:12 pm | [comment link]
8. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Prayers for Egypt, its people and its future.

January 28, 3:21 pm | [comment link]
9. Katherine wrote:

Hadn’t read #2 closely before #7’s comment. The Egyptian situation has very little to do with Obama, or Bush, for that matter. The ruling party’s headquarter building is now in flames in Cairo.  The liberalizing factions and the Islamists and people in between are fed up with government repression.

January 28, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
10. kmh1 wrote:

#7 has forsaken a sense of irony and humor, as well as memory of what was actually said by Obama in 2007-08. #2 was reminding us that Obama rode to power by denouncing Bush for policies he has only maintained - in fact, extended, through the increased Predator raids (= execution without trial - far beyond anything at Gitmo). Victor David Hanson makes this valid point with monotonous regularity.

January 28, 4:15 pm | [comment link]
11. kmh1 wrote:

#9:so just who kept the dictator Mubarak in power all these years? The US taxpayer stumped up billions as the price of Camp David.

January 28, 4:16 pm | [comment link]
12. Katherine wrote:

Sure, we’ve been paying for the Egyptian military for years.  Egypt made peace with Israel and has not attacked other Arab nations under Sadat and Mubarak.  Who was the better alternative?  Who’s the better alternative today?  I don’t know the answer.  People I know in Cairo, including some Christians, are very concerned that if the Mubarak regime falls, something worse may appear, as in Iran.  I hope that a liberal democracy emerges from this.  Nobody knows if it will, though.

January 28, 4:21 pm | [comment link]
13. kmh1 wrote:

#12: A liberal democracy in a Muslim country? Ain’t gonna happen.

January 28, 4:34 pm | [comment link]
14. Karen B. wrote:

Twenty five years ago I was living in Cairo for a year, working and studying.  In early Feb. 1986 there was a 2-3 day army uprising in Cairo with curfews, tanks in the streets, etc.  The reports from Cairo today are bringing back some pretty vivid memories…

Praying much for Egyptian friends and expats I know there, and praying for peace, stability and much wisdom for Egypt’s and the world’s leaders in responding to this situation.

January 28, 5:01 pm | [comment link]
15. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

“Egypt made peace with Israel…”

Yep, they made peace (and Sadat was assassinated) after LOSING every military action they ever initiated against Israel and losing the Gaza Strip and the entire Sinai Peninsula in the bargain.  That was a pretty sweet deal for Egypt when they signed the peace accord, got the Sanai back, got US dollars, and kept the Palestinians out of their territory.

You know, we have heard an awful lot about Israel’s blockade of the Palestinians in Gaza, but nary a peep about Egypt’s blockade against the Palestinians in Gaza.  Hmmm…interesting.  Fair and balanced reporting by the MSM as usual.

January 28, 6:26 pm | [comment link]
16. Katherine wrote:

#15, you would be as amused as we were every time we drove past the heroic monument in a Cairo suburb to the great victory over the Israelis in 1973.

January 28, 7:47 pm | [comment link]
17. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Hi Katherine,

Thanks for that amusing tidbit.  Know that despite my sometimes “over the top” comments, that I do care and I pray for your peace and safety and for all my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus that are in harm’s way in Egypt.  I don’t know what sort of news you have available to you, but the world is paying attention to what is going on there.  Today, the market in the US went down considerably while gold went up, and that is a testimony of the concern that many are feeling.

May the Lord God Almighty, Who commands the Host of Heaven, send his angels to stand watch over you and protect you.  May He build a hedge around you and set a protector there to stand guard with a flaming sword of wrath against the enemies of His children.  May the Lord hear my prayer and may his jealous rage, like that of a she-bear, be stirred up against those that would harm you.  May he see the tears in his servant’s eyes as he types this prayer and may he honor the earnest petition of one of His sons that is calling out to Him, the living and only God of gods and Lord of lords and King of kings.  In the name of the living Lion of Judah that sits at the right hand of the Father, I pray. Amen.

January 28, 8:16 pm | [comment link]
18. Katherine wrote:

Sick & Tired, I thank you for your prayers.  I am no longer in Egypt; I am trying to reach friends, and my husband to reach business colleagues, without success.  Internet, text messages, and cell phone services are all shut off by the regime.  Please continue those prayers for all Egyptians and most especially for Christian Egyptians.  My husband’s former employees there include a man whose wife, two children, and sister were killed in the New Year’s bombing in Alexandria.  May the Lord guide the ancient land of Egypt to a safe and just resolution to this crisis, and may He return the land where the Holy Family sheltered to His Church.

January 28, 8:38 pm | [comment link]
19. NoVA Scout wrote:

No. 10, I had not realize that No. 2 was meant to be humourous. Sometimes this medium disguises the tongue-in-cheek, twinkle-in-the-eye nature of comments.  Thanks for setting me straight.  I had a belated laugh and probably was the last to pick up on the joke.

January 29, 11:13 am | [comment link]
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