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On the Media in Cairo (Stephen Nessen)

Demonstrate Like An Egyptian

Friday, April 08, 2011 - 06:29 PM

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.

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Comments [2]

Michelle from Boston

Loved this show. The music recorded in cabs was great, is there any additional information on it (stations, artists)?

Apr. 28 2011 10:47 AM
Ruth Pollock

I read all of the blogs by Brooke and her producer and found that their excitement about and their participation in the revolution going on Egypt came through their writings. What a wonderful experience to feel the people's need for freedom!! I'll look forward to this weekend's show.

Apr. 11 2011 11:43 AM

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About On the Media in Cairo

On The Media went to Egypt. Host Brooke Gladstone and OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman take you behind the scenes as they navigate the hectic streets of Cairo and the even more hectic Egyptian media landscape.

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