Demonstrate Like An Egyptian

Friday at Tahrir Square was intense.  The sun, the crowds, the emotion.  It was incredible to finally be in the center of it all, to be on the ground after having grown accustomed to the view from above that was broadcast all over the news during the revolution.

As you look around and see the demonstrators, one can not help but notice how quickly they have learned the art of the protest.  There were people selling merchandise covered with the colors of the Egyptian flag, food vendors offering fresh juices and the Egyptian staple known as kooshari, children getting their faces painted, speakers on platforms peppered throughout the area, and groups of friends sitting under trees or finding each other among the masses.  To look at all this, you would think they were professionals, accustomed to congregating in such massive groups calling for change.

But then you have to remind yourself: they are not professionals.  This is new for them.  What we take so for granted in the U.S., they have only just gained, and they cherish every chance they get.  In a previous blog post, Brooke mentioned the comment of one of our taxi drivers, who said the frequent demonstrators were protesting "everything."  But can you blame them?  They have been bottled up for decades and there is no turning back now.  They have finally secured their right to assemble (for the time being) and they are not going to give that up.  And you have to give it to them; the Egyptians are fast learners.