Live blogging the Egyptian uprising
Long time observers of Egypt are fast running out of adjectives to describe their feelings about unfolding events. Unprecedented, stunning, transfixing. I lived there from 2003 to 2008 and dearly love the country. I'll be posting short updates here throughout the day (Friday, Jan. 28) on the fast-moving events in Egypt. This is my first go at this kind of thing, so bear with me.
(Page 4 of 4)
11:12 a.m. EST (6:12 p.m. Cairo) THE POLICE HAVE clearly disengaged protesters in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. Whether this is "strategic" or a "rout" remains to be seen. The Army has been called out, with tanks rolling in Suez and Cairo. Some protesters are hoping that the Army – which is generally viewed with pride and respect by the public – will take their side, but I can't see it. We'll know soon how far the Army is willing to go to enforce the curfew and back Mubarak.Skip to next paragraph
Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor's international desk, focused on the Middle East. Murphy, who has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and more than a dozen other countries, writes and edits Backchannels. The focus? War and international relations, leaning toward things Middle East.
The Arab League observer mission in Syria is likely to fail
Egypt's military rulers crack down on democracy groups
Iran's threats over Strait of Hormuz? Understandable, but not easy
Eastern Libya poll indicates political Islam will closely follow democracy
Iraq's Maliki threatens, Sunnis grumble, and Baghdad goes boom
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
11:05 a.m. EST (6:05 p.m. Cairo) AL JAZEERA IS REPORTING that Mubarak is expected to finally address Egypt "soon." (It's about 80 hours and counting since this started, and he hasn't said a peep in public.) Just stunning scenes being shown live on AJ right now: burning, semi-armored police trucks in central Cairo – protesters are trying to push them into the Nile.
11:01 a.m. EST (6:01 p.m. Cairo) AL JAZEERA ENGLISH is carrying live shots of Cairo right now: what looks like thousands of protesters are streaming through central Cairo, not far from the Parliament, the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Ministry – the symbols of government power. The government has declared a nighttime curfew in multiple cities. Will they be able to enforce it? And when was the last time that happened? Checking...
9:47 a.m. EST (4:47 p.m. Cairo) IT'S BEEN ABOUT 77 hours since the unprecented protests of January 25 broke out in Egypt, and President Hosni Mubarak has still not addressed his nation or been seen in public. Is he polishing his speech for the Cairo Book Fair (where he's officially scheduled to speak tommorrow)? Somehow, I doubt that's the reason.
9:39 a.m. EST (4:39 p.m. Cairo) FOR TWITTER USERS who don't speak Arabic, Ben Wedeman of CNN is on the ground in Cairo and intermittently getting out useful stuff. Two folks keeping an eagle eye on the Arab-language press and tweeting about it in English from outside the country are Sultan Al Qassemi and Alaa Abd El Fattah.
9:32 a.m. EST (4:32 p.m. Cairo) HERE'S AN AMAZING GRAPHIC that shows the moment the Egyptian government turned out the lights on the Internet yesterday, a situation that persists now. The decision to shut down the Internet and restrict cell phone use (calling has been shut down in select areas and text mesaging has been turned off everywhere) shows how seriously the government is taking the uprising – and, perhaps, panic. About 20 percent of Egyptians use the Internet; about 70 percent use cell phones.
9:15 a.m. EST (4:15 p.m. Cairo) CAIRO CORRESPONDENT Kristen Chick finally checked in with us about a half an hour ago. She attended noon prayers in Mohandiseen (a huge neighborhood on the Giza side of the Nile). She describes middle-class housewives and old men hanging over balconies and cheering on thousands of marchers trying to get across the bridge to downtown, where tens of thousands of protesters are converging on Tahrir (Liberation) Square. Most cell phones in central Cairo appear to be shut off, and she had to borrow a land line to feed us a story. Keep an eye on our home page – it should go up soon.