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Egypt: Tahrir Square's Mini Utopia

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

There is another side to the ongoing revolution in Egypt, which is the daily life of those people sitting in on Tahrir Square. For the past 12 days, they have remained on the square, eating, drinking, chanting, cheering – simply living there day and night. Life here has its own rhythm now, and the spirit on diplay is of a mini Utopia.

Mornings begin with physical exercises while chanting “Down down Mubarak!”.

As the day continues, and more people pour into the square, residents welcome them with more chants as @ashoukry says:

أجمل لحظات اليوم:استقبال الثوار بالغناء و التصفيق عند دخول التحرير، لحظات لا تنسي و نسائم حرية حقيقية تتهادي و تتدفق فاذهبوا و أروا قلوبكم
The best time of the day: Welcoming the rebels into Tahrir Sq. with singing and clapping. Unforgettable moments where we breathe the air of freedom.

The million pound question on everyone's mind, was asked by @Maysaloon from Syria on Twitter:

Had a thought today, what are all those people in Tahrir Square doing for sanitation? I don't see any cubicles anywhere…

And so I replied:

Either they use nearby mosques’ or underground public toilets, or nearby buildings, or shops. Some even return home & come back.

For instance @TAFATEFO tweeted while staying on Tahrir Square himself:

واحد قال في الميك انه ممثل أصحاب الـ 3 عمارات اللي في الميدان .. وانهم فاتحين الدورين السادس والسابع للي عايزين ياخدوا دش أو يناموا
Someone said on the loudspeakers that he is a representative from the 3 buildings on the square. They said they opened their 6th and 7th floors to anyone wants to take a shower or sleep.
People spend a good while of their day cleaning the square

People spend a good while of their day cleaning the square. Photo by Monasosh on Flickr (CC-BY 2.0)

Even while it rains, people keep marching covered by a plastic sheet

Even while it rains, people keep marching covered by a plastic sheet. Photo by Nadia El Awady on Twitpic

With every that day passes, the mood on the square becomes more like a daily open carnival organised by the people and for the people. As @etharkamal tweeted:

LOVE Egyptian ingenuity: for LE1 [one Egyptian pound] a 7antoor (horse carriage) will take you across Kasr El-Nil bridge to reach #tahrir #jan25

@Tarekshalaby also added:

At Tahrir sq. you can find pop corn, couscous, sweet potatoes, sandwiches, tea & drinks! Egyptians know how to revolt! #jan25

Egyptian tea anyone?

Egyptian tea anyone? .. Photo by Gigi Ibrahim shared on Facebook

That's how people keep going, eating dates.

"That's how people keep going, eating dates." Photo by Gigi Ibrahim shared on Facebook

People praying, a scene repeated five time a day

People praying, a scene repeated five time a day, by Floris Van Cauwelaert on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

At night, its much quieter, yet the same spirit prevails. @Tarekshalaby said on Sunday night:

Cold n rainy night in Tahrir sq. Has been very festive/entertaining with songs n poetry. #jan25

@estr4ng3d said:

Loud cheerful music playing now, people dancing & clapping #tahrir

One night people combined their chants in a song entitled “Power to the people” to celebrate Egyptian youth coming together for peace, freedom and change:

Some days behold different and special events, on Sunday @Ekramibrahim tweeted:

1 - Christians and Muslims holding hands in #Tahrir and singing hymns after Coptic mass was a marvelous attitude never seen [before]. #Egypt #jan25

2 - A couple got married today at #Tahrir. God bless the couple. Very creative and warm attitude. #Jan25 #Egypt

@estr4ng3d expressed a feeling shared by many:

#Tahrir is definitely the happiest spot in #egypt right now. #jan25

It's happening in Tahrir Sq. now

"It's happening in Tahrir Sq. now.. Egypt" – Photo by Monasosh on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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


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