Two Years After Mubarak, Cairo Still a City of Protests – Next City

Two Years After Mubarak, Cairo Still a City of Protests

Signs erected in Tahrir Square naming different places where protesters have been killed. Credit: Cliff Cheney

The second anniversary of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s ousting was recognized Monday with the sort of protest that has been growing in an embattled Cairo for months.

In the affluent neighborhood of Heliopolis, residents long insulated from political violence have been confronted with the stinging smell of tear gas usually confined to the downtown hinterland of Tahrir Square. In scenes similar to the height of fighting during the revolution, street clashes between pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood supporters have shaken the former calm in front of the presidential palace, located at the heart of the neighborhood. More than 50 protesters have been killed since January 25 of this year, the two-year anniversary of the revolution, as the violence has spread.

In the process of this fresh outbreak of political drama, many public spaces in Cairo have become effectively lawless. In the area around the American embassy, for example, riots are a facet of life and Egyptian security forces have erected a dizzying array of concrete walls to combat the movement of the protesters.

In this week’s Forefront story, I document the changing relationship between ordinary Cairenes and the city. The changes are observable in these much-contested barrier walls, the intensity of the street protests and an ever-increasing number of street vendors doing business on public streets despite their illegal status.

Below, we’ve collected live pictures and tweets from the ground that illustrate the continued struggled for peace and safety in Egypt.

From the Presidential Palace:





From Tahrir Square:




Cairenes built a makeshift soccer field in Tahrir Sqare. Credit: Cliff Cheney




Tweets and photos compiled by Erica Sachse.

Joseph Dana is a multimedia journalist based in the Middle East and South Africa. He is the Jerusalem correspondent for Monocle, covering everything from political developments in the West Bank to cultural events in Tel Aviv to elections in Egypt with a focus on urbanism. His print work has appeared in Le Monde Diplomatique (German, English), GQ (Germany), Salon, the London Review of Books, Tablet, the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Mail & Guardian among other international publications. Dana is associate producer of Just Vision’s East Jerusalem short film series Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah as well as Just Vision’s documentary My Neighbourhood.

Tags: public spaceprotestscairoarab spring

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