Repost from the Australian: “Free Egypt” created in Tahir Square

TO reach Tahrir Square, you must run a gauntlet of thugs armed with iron bars in a city that has succumbed to anarchy.

At the barricades across every entrance, men demand your passport or identity card, frisk you for weapons, then bid you welcome. It feels as if you are crossing a national boundary, and in a sense you are.

Inside the barricades is “Free Egypt”, an area the size of perhaps 20 soccer pitches ringed by towering hotels, government offices, the charred shell of President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party headquarters and elegant old apartment buildings above rows of shuttered gift shops, travel agencies and a KFC outlet. They are poignant reminders of a long-ago world before last week’s popular uprising turned the country upside down.

This is a tiny patch of Egypt where Mr Mubarak’s writ no longer extends, and from which his dreaded security agents have been banished. It is the epicentre of a revolution whose cohorts believe in concepts such as liberty, justice and dignity that they have never known, and which is sending seismic tremors though the authoritarian regimes of the Arab world. It is a besieged but defiant enclave, whose few thousand brave inhabitants have sworn to die rather than surrender.”

full story here

~ by Vanzetti on February 7, 2011.

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