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March 4, 2011   

This is why I’m here.

On the way to Tahrir Square demonstrations

To me, this picture says a great deal about the Egyptian people’s new found freedom to speak and assemble, from fear and corruption, freedom to hope for something better. It also says it’s safe now. The families are turning out for these demonstrations and taking part in shaping Egypt’s future. I feel fortunate to be here. The truth is though, this is more of an outsiders perspective, as it’s been the families all along that have stood up to the government—stood in front of their tanks. The children are Egypt, and that message is coming through.

 

Large demonstrations here in Tahrir Square today.

It was an amazing day. Wandered around Islamic Cairo and a couple mosques earlier in the day. ThenÉ I’m a photographer working for an Egyptian media agency, covering massive demonstrations in Tahrir Square. While there was definitely an intensity to the manner of the message, aside from a few nervous firecrackers, the general atmosphere was jubilant and family friendly—like a million person block party, with a point.

The team was led by Sami, while Italian singer, Sarita, better understood my American skepticism and questions. But it was Badr that had my back, shadowing me while I went about searching for the kind of pictures I like to take. Mohamed and Hossam interviewed people, trying to get an assessment of one of the new presidential candidates, Amro Moussa (with Mohamed El-Baradai as potential vice-presidential running mate). Tomorrow evening they have 5 minutes to meet and take pictures of him for his campaign. I have rearranged my plans a bit, as they have asked me to shoot them. Five minutes with the potential future leader of Egypt?! Seriously?! What do I do, ask him to smile? I learned a little about him today, enough to feel comfortable that he is not going to kill and arrest people for no reason and that he represents the general values of the youth movement here. We were out there for about 3-4 hours and I just got back to the hotel. Depending on the quality of my internet signal, I’ll try to upload some video soon.

How did I get here? Did I mention my feet are killing me?

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