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Egypt: The Day of (Almost) Departure

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

After two days of clashes, in which pro-democracy demonstrators were attacked by pro-Mubarak crowds, Friday – labelled as the “Day of Departure” saw increasing numbers of people pouring into Tahrir Square, down town, Cairo, where the images of peaceful celebrations returned.

Shortly after 5pm in Cairo, the crowd in Tahrir was roaring and tweets were flying around guessing the reason: Al Jazeera's live feed was showing soldiers mounting people into what seemed as a bus,  and some people on Twitter assumed the protesters are marching to the presidential palace. Apparently they have debated on it. However, a fellow tweep from Heliopolis warned against such a move saying that presidential guard will surly shoot them all if they attempt to.

In the course of the next few minutes the reason for the roar was found: it seems that the announcer in the square did not choose his words carefully, causing the protesters to think Mubarak has announced his resignation.

The confusion raised as Egypt's state TV seemed to have changed its narrative in those same minutes, showing the protesters in the square and talking on the phone with one of them, on air. Ten minutes later journalists confirmed the rumor untrue and Egyptian hopeful tweeps stood corrected: announcer did say it but it wasn't confirmed information, more like wishful thinking probably.

At the same time, the anonymous protester on state TV said they were trained by Americans and Jews and everyone understood rapidly that unfortunately, nothing has changed. In addition, VP Suleiman spoke on TV, portraying the protesters as non serious youth and asking their parents to call them home. @ramahkudaimi answers on Twitter: too bad the parents and grandparents are in the street with them.

Among those who joined the protesters today were priests and nuns from the Coptic church of Egypt. A larger number of Egyptians are now breaking curfew by holding the Friday prayers in Tahrir, alongside the Christian prayers, as a united crowd of millions. Protesters are joined today by similar crowds across Egypt, estimating 4 million Egyptians are on the streets today.

As Egypt swings between beautiful unity and brutal clashes this week, it is time to make a plan beyond holding the square: Sarah Zaaimi, until recently a resident of Alexandria, calls upon the Egyptians to ignore recent conspiracy theories and be pragmatic:

Now that you know all this what should you do?

1.    Hold on Mubarak and risk that when he will die the masters will not do a ‘’PEACEFUL TRANSITION’’ anymore and you will join the Iraq Club

2.    Continue fighting like puppets and ending up with a more democratic president but with the same framework which don’t serve the interests of the Egyptian people.

3.    Being pragmatic while dealing with this conspiracy and getting rid of Mooby, but asking for the maximum you can get and involving as much new elites in the conspiracy as you can have.

Personally, I support option number 3. If you cooperate now you can have a prosperity phase where you can prepare for a more genuine revolution within less than 5 years with a more mature political elite (thing that you lack now), that would have emerged from January 25th Youth. And the good news for everyone is that; we would all have taken revenge from the black days of the current regime and sacrifice another pharaoh from the dynasty.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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