Egypt: My 73-year-old Father at Tahrir

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

Egyptian Nadia El Awady last night tweeted that she needed a wheelchair to take her 73-year-old father to Tahrir today, where a Coptic mass is taking place as part of the Sunday of Martyrs.

True to her word, with father in hand, Nadia shares with us her day in a series of tweets, from the heart of down town Cairo, and the epicentre of massive protests calling upon Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to leave.

Nadia's father and other protesters take cover from the rain under the Egyptian flag

Nadia's father and other protesters take cover from the rain under the Egyptian flag

Let's to to Tahrir Square with Nadia and her father:

@Nadia E Off to Tahrir to attend Christian mass. My father – a 73-yr-old ill, bearded conservative Muslim – is with me. #jan25 #egypt

Although she didn't find a wheelchair, Nadia and her father took a taxi to the Square, and made their way on foot to join the crowds.

@NadiaE My dad is having the time of his LIFE in Tahrir! Saying he finally smells freedom #egypt

@NadiaE Baba dakhal ata7reer biywassi afrad algaysh wa7id wa7id: iw3a tfarrat filbalad di yabni #egypt #jan25

My father entered Tahrir shaking the hands of the army personnel, one by one, and telling them: never left go of Egypt my sons

In Tahrir, as the mass begins, Nadia tells us how Muslims and Copts were joining hands,and chanting for a new dawn to begin in their country.

In a touching tweet, she describes the impact on her father:

Caught my dad tearing up at Christian mass

and adds:

One thing I can tell you: it's not the people in tahrir causing violence between muslims & christians in #egypt #jan25

Nadia also shares the suffering some of the Copts endured in the clashes with government-paid thugs and the security forces during the bloody days of the protests.

She tweets:

Young Copt wounded in revolution – arm in sling – sings about Jesus Christ

and continues:

Young injured Copt sings national anthem

Back to her father, Nadia continues to report how her father in interacting with the crowds:

Man injured in head tried to kiss my dad's hand. Dad refused and instead kissed injured man's hand #egypt #jan25

Kissing hands in our culture is a sign of respect, as Nadia explains in another tweet.

Nadia adds:

Dad posing for camera giving peace and thumbs up sign. He's REALLY enjoying this! #egypt #jan25

She also shares conversations her father had with people at Tahrir:

60 yr old man telling my dad: “Our generation freed Sinai. This generation is freeing #Egypt.” #jan25

@NadiaE: dad talked to family and said: I've seen 3 Egyptian flags in my time. This 4th will say freedom, justice, equality

After prayers, the father-and-daughter duo toured Tahrir:

Dad and I doing the rounds in tahrir. Saw field hospital at front line so dad called doctor, took his hand and kissed it

PHOTO CREDIT: Nadia Al Awady

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


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