Howaida Kamel's blog

Notes from Tahrir: July 4th

I managed to drive across Kasr el Nile bridge at 8:30am to find people already on the streets, cleaning up after four days of protests. I passed the Constitutional Court, where police forces had secured the area so that Judge Adly Mansour, the new interim President, could take his oath. What became publicized rather quickly was the coincidence that Judge Mansour was appointed the Head of the Constitutional Court on June 30, after his predecessor's term had ended. While some suspect that this might be foul play, he has served on the Constitutional Court since 1992 and has held the position of Vice-President until appointed as the leader by former President Mohamed Morsi. Read more.

Notes from Tahrir: July 3rd

The entire country waited in apprehension for the 48-hour ultimatum to end. Local media had placed a countdown timer on the screen while showing the live feed of Tahrir, Itahedaya, and other major squares around the country. Large numbers of protesters started taking the streets around 3:30pm, waiting for the 4:30pm mark. With the Muslim Brotherhood supporters occupying the square at Cairo University, I stayed in the suburb of Maadi rather than go to Tahrir, especially considering the rumors that they had stopped traffic on all major bridges. However, 4:30pm came and went without an address by the General Sisi, Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). We kept on getting tidbits from the media that SCAF officers were meeting with significant political figures such as Ahmed el Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Tawadros II, the Egyptian Pope, Mohamad Badr, the head of Tamarud, and Nobel laureate Mohamed El-Baradei. At around 5:30pm, warrants were granted for the arrest of head Muslim Brotherhood officials that had incited violence during the protests, and others were banned from leaving the country. Read more.

Notes from Tahrir: July 2nd

In the early afternoon, the army released the aerial footage that they captured above Itahadeya and Tahrir on June 30. This was a political move used to show the huge number of people that had come out against Morsi, and to show that the army is dedicated to following the will of the people. At the halfway mark of the 48-hour ultimatum, I headed to Tahrir once again. Driving from Maadi towards Tahrir on the Corniche, we bumped into two different pro-Morsi groups of protestors, all holding pictures of the president shouting "shar3eya" (legitimacy). They were heading towards Cairo University, where a larger group of Muslim Brotherhood supporters decided to congregate. We parked in Zamalek again to walk across Kasr el Nile into Tahrir. Read more.

Notes from Tahrir: July 1st

We woke up the next morning to find that those in Moqattam had stormed the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters to find rooms filled with Molotov cocktails and other types of weapons. Six were killed in the struggle. Around 4:30pm, the army made a public broadcast giving President Morsi a 48-hour ultimatum to step down. They made it clear that the army is here to serve the Egyptian people, and that the peaceful protests yesterday and their large numbers all around the country showed that Morsi was no longer the will of the people. There was a huge feeling of relief and celebration on the streets afterwards. That evening, Tahrir and Itahedeya – the area around the Presidential Palace, north-east of Tahrir – were packed with a lively crowd. In response, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood called upon all the President's supporters to take to the streets during a press conference taking place at 8:00pm. Read more.