Photos from the Aftermath of Tahrir Clashes

Cornish Tree

An uprooted tree on the Nile Cornish, just outside of Tahrir Square. Muslim rules of war forbid the wanton destruction of nature.

Egypt has just witnessed some of the fiercest clashes in the revolutionary era, as many protestors appear radicalized. There are still peaceful demonstrations, to be sure, but even these appear to be violently resisted by police. It is hard to blame the police, though, as the lines are blurred.

I missed out on the latest battles. I spent January 25 in Helwan, a city to the south of Cairo at the end of the Metro line. The Muslim Brotherhood was conducting an outreach campaign to counter-program the message of demonstrations and unrest offered in Tahrir. I planned to take the Metro downtown to see these protestors, but on the way the car stopped and sat for five minutes – at the very stop nearest our home in Maadi.

Demonstrators in Tahrir had cut the tracks, causing a backup. Rather than waiting what could be an hour or more, based on previous examples, I left and went home, seeking to catch up on the news of the day, and perhaps go down after a bit.

A minute later, before I was able to exit the station, the Metro started up again. Perhaps it was propitious I had left.

These pictures taken this morning are from my first visit back to Tahrir. The worst clashes occurred in the Suez Canal cities of Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez, where a state of emergency has been declared. It is hard to know precisely what happened anywhere – the consequence of sitting home and following news updates and Twitter bylines. But the pictures to follow give a disturbing indication of where Egypt stands at the moment.

Is this the last gasp of resistance to a new order, or a sign of worse things yet to come? Please pray for Egypt, either way.

The worst clashes took place on the Nile Cornish. This rock pile is on the road leading there from Tahrir, where protestors would retreat to reload in the volleys against the police.

The worst clashes took place on the Nile Cornish. This rock pile is on the road leading there from Tahrir, where protestors would retreat to reload for their volleys against the police.

At one point during the fighting, armed criminals broke in to the Semiramsis Hotel, smashing this door. According to reports, protestors intervened and beat them off.

At one point during the fighting, armed criminals broke in to the Semiramsis Hotel, smashing this door. According to reports, protestors intervened and beat them off.

Outside on the Cornish clean up crews were hard at work collecting the debris, preparing the road for traffic

Outside on the Cornish clean up crews were hard at work collecting the debris, preparing the road for traffic.

Traffic into Tahrir, however, was blocked by these makeshift barricades.

Traffic into Tahrir, however, was blocked by these makeshift barricades.

And on the bridge across the Nile leading into Tahrir, group of protestors were trying to block traffic, as they had over the previous few days. This attempt petered out after about five minutes.

And on the bridge across the Nile leading into Tahrir, group of protestors were trying to block traffic, as they had over the previous few days. This attempt petered out after about five minutes.

Meanwhile, camera crews were already in place, awaiting the next round of violence.

Meanwhile, camera crews were already in place, awaiting the next round of violence.

Back in Tahrir, things were calm, as protestors celebrated their previous night's capture off a police van.

Back in Tahrir, things were calm, as protestors celebrated their previous night’s capture off a police van.

Even the local Pizza Hut was open for business - sort of.

Even the local Pizza Hut was open for business – sort of.

Protestors opened their very own Tahrir Museum in the center circle of the roundabout.

Protestors opened their very own Revolution Museum in the center circle of the Tahrir roundabout.

The celebrated statue of Omar Makram had a new round of graffiti.

The celebrated statue of Omar Makram had a new round of graffiti.

And the walls were updated with the pictures of the latest martyrs and targets of political rejection. Here, the Muslim Brotherhood's General Guide hovers behind a split image of Mubarak and former army General Tantawi.

And the walls were updated with the pictures of the latest martyrs and targets of political rejection. Here, the Muslim Brotherhood’s General Guide hovers behind a split image of Mubarak and former army head General Tantawi. A plaque has been affixed bearing a verse from the Quran.

But at some point since my last visit a huge Egyptian flag had been draped on the side of this building. Perhaps it can be read as a sign of hope.

But at some point since my last visit a huge Egyptian flag had been draped on the side of this building. Perhaps it can be read as a sign of hope.

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38 thoughts on “Photos from the Aftermath of Tahrir Clashes

  1. My heart goes out to what’s going on in Egypt. It really is something I hope will take a turn towards peace. I like to remember the words “with difficulty there is still ease.” Looking at the brighter side of things, I think the best way to get over something horrible or tragic is to have mercy and forgive — ironic how Egypt’s leader’s name sounds like the word “Mercy.” Only mercy will ease the agony and remove judgement. That’s the only way Egypt or any part of the world, human or land, can have peace.

    If we all see one another as brothers and sisters, one another’s children and, even more delicately than this, to see one another as mirrors of ourselves more often–as human–then we’d all have the luxury to live in more peaceful and harmonious societies.

    • Such value in these words. But unfortunately they are easily taken advantage of as well. Right now, no one trusts their political opponent, so they cannot give an inch. There should never be trust in politics, of course, but distrust is a killer.

  2. Just like what happen in indonesia in1997, when powerfull regim falls, the condition has became unstable. Every political elits who always sillent and obey to regim, start to take advantage to get the crown. after 16 years indonesia still not meet the reformation that always mentioned. indonesia become more liberal and lose its character.

    • Very interesting. Most people I know here are hoping Egypt becomes more liberal. Others are afraid it will lose its character. Problem is, people define this character differently.

  3. I went to Egypt four years ago and I loved it. The people I met were so interesting and kind. I feel sorry for the country and hope it can get it together because the people deserve better and the country has great potential.

    Nice work on the photos and congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  4. Thank you for offering your opinions and photos. I find great interest in this stuff. I don’t know why, and maybe it’s just on the surface, but all these Muslim countries always look so chaotic to an outside observer (like me, I’m in the U.S.). I’m a Christian but I love to read books written by Muslim women, it’s my favorite “genre”. It gives a really interesting insight into what it’s like to live in another culture and religion and see things from their point of view. Very sad, a lot of times, what they have to go through and the stories they tell. But it gives you a lot of compassion and makes you remember that everyone everywhere are people too. I will pray for Egypt, I hope things improve for you guys. I suppose it takes everyone standing up and doing the right thing and trying to change minds one-by-one.

    I’ll definitely follow your blog!

  5. They are fighting each other. Direct democracy is coming to everybody from the tops and all the New World Orders everywhere are fighting to keep enforceable power and the endless pools of taxes, fines, and usage fees to themselves before the public benefits form them. The public is going to all come first and the greedy, can’t think in private profit making way, the weak are loosing all now. It is going on all over the world of “if you don’t give in, we are going to hurt the innocent that is going to get the money.” However they will not succeed in stopping any of it anywhere on earth. They are and will be executed off their weak steal whatever we can in public treasury and enforceable power gigs. They claim it to be everybody’s fault but their own weak needs. These sick people are going to be executed as terrorists down to the last one. Nothing is going to stop direct democracy from coming to all people everywhere. Not to worry they will go down in history for not only what they are but with all their crimes too. Their facts are going to be preserved in the crimes they committed worldwide for obstruction this new government coming to all.

  6. We didn’t think things would be moving in this direction when we moved here three years ago. It was blissfully quiet. I remember reading The Economist’s July edition called ‘Shifting Sands, change is coming to the West’s Arab allies’ on how revolution is bound to happen and thinking, “Nawww…how ridiculous!” That eerie prediction came into fruition too fast. I still walk the streets sometimes not believing it. Thanks for the pictures and the info…you keep me posted and connected to reality from your end, and I’ll pretend everything’s ok. Ok?

    • No problem. Just check in now and then if the ‘ok’ needs to be shaken, and I’ll do so. Hopefully we’ll have a share in putting it back together, too, as things are rarely as bad as they are portrayed. Are you still living in Egypt?

      • I completely agree. It is more hyped up than it really is. We like it here and have been around for 3 years. We saw the Mubarak era and went through evacuation during the Revolution only because we were forced to get out by my husband’s company. It’s pretty quiet here in the 6th of October area…so quiet that I blog mostly about the ridiculous and traveling with our three kids. I enjoy reading your blog and will keep visiting.

  7. GREAT post! It’s nice to find a firsthand account that’s unbiaed and your photos are great. I’ve been to Egypt 5 times and was there the previous Jan 25th, and I ust say I’m shocked that this year was so bloody compared to last years, although that might have something to do with the fact that there was no president (yet). You’ve got a new follower to your blog! :)

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