The View From Here
Friday, April 08, 2011 - 05:56 PM
We've all seen Tahrir Square -- the crowds, the banners, the children, the passion. In the weeks since the revolution, all that has ebbed and flowed on that historic patch of ground.
But today the crowd was the biggest in weeks, though of course, not nearly so big as in the days leading to that decisive, iconic moment when Mubarak was pushed from power.
Today the call was for him to be put on trial for his crimes, for the military to clear the path to democracy, and for justice in all parts of Egyptian life. It was a moment of unity composed of many parts and many people, across social class and religion, generation and gender, and yet it was cohesive -- cohesion that was never more apparent than in the call for prayer. That was something to see. Thousands kneeling on the muddy ground on scraps of newspaper, with their foreheads on rugs or directly on the dirt, or on the back of the person in front of them. Those who did not pray, stood quietly among them, some like me, very much in the way.
(Video: Friday prayer in Tahrir Square)
My feet, my hands, were inches from the faces of praying men as I raised a microphone to catch the sound. I was told that these meetings in the square seemed like a carnival, with food, and flags and even face-painting. But even though all that was present today, the people seemed both gentle and defiant, and sad. It takes a lot to keep the fires of revolution burning.