An Egyptian army soldier tries to stop anti-government protesters as they walk towards Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. The Arab world’s most populous nation appeared to be swiftly moving closer to a point at which it either dissolves into widespread chaos or the military expands its presence and control of the streets. – AP Photo
In the past week, inspired by Tunisia’s successful uprising, Egyptian citizens have taken back their country in an uproar against the 30-year
regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Here is a breakdown of the events:
JAN 25 – A small protest in front of the Supreme Court building turns into an uncontrollable group with bouts of violence. Protestors in the hundreds take to the streets calling for President Mubarakto step down. By evening hundreds had gathered at the Tahrir (Liberation) Square. Egypt’s Interior Ministry blames the opposition group, Muslim Brotherhood, as “instigators” to the protests. Twitterreported that its site has been blocked in Egypt.
JAN 26 – While US President Obama gives his State of the Union address on secure and growing relationship with the Middle East and Central Asia, Egyptian security forces had trouble containing the protestors allowing for them to expand into an uncontrollable large group. Security forces used tear gas and concussions grenades to control the crowd but failed. The government banned all public gathering and many arrests are made. However protestors continued to regroup. President Mubarak’s National Democratic Party accuses the Muslim Brotherhood, again.
JAN 27 – Video posting of the violence against protestors continues to plague the internet while the Egyptian government tries to gain control. Israel voices its concerns and watches carefully as events change. President Mubarak has not made any statements. Analysts say that no political party or organisations can lead these protests because the protests are being led by the youth which does not accept anyone related to the old regime.
JAN 28 – Mohamed El Baradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been one of most outspoken public figures since the protests began and wants the government to step down. Mubarak orders military action against protestors and sets a curfew followed by blocking all forms of communication which included the internet and mobile services.
JAN 29 - US President Obama warns President Hosni Mubarak of growing violence between the protestors and security forces. The protests spread to other parts of Egypt and Egyptians of diverse backgrounds join in while ignoring the curfews. Many start looting local shops and locals create their own mini-militia to protect their communities from looters and violent protestors. President Mubarak names Omar Suleiman as vice president.
JAN 30 – Protesting and looting continues more people gather into the streets against the military and other security forces. Mobile services are unblocked. The internet is still not available for use. Mohamed El Baradei calls for Mubarak’s resignation and a democratic state. Protestors camp outside and ignore curfew while Mubarak turns to the military for assistance by sending fighter jetsacross Cairo. Pakistan sends its aircraft to retrieve Pakistani citizens and many other countries follow suit. Local businesses and communities are affected.