Thursday, February 03, 2011

#Jan25 Personal Experience No 3 - Aisha's Story

On Friday afternoon I went with my boyfriend and a group of friends to Tahrir. Of course we did not make it to Tahrir because of the tear gas and crowds. It was really hard to breathe and we often had to turn back for a ways in order to breathe and wipe our eyes. We saw people running back with their eyes streaming and many people we saw were being carried back, unconscious from the fumes. As we moved on we saw one boy being carried past, with his face bloody, unconscious in the arms of several men who ran by in search of help for him.

We eventually got to Ramsis Street where there were large crowds of people all moving in the direction of Tahrir Square. The streets were a mess and looked like a war zone. We kept following the people and everyone was chanting slogans against Mubarak and the government. Shortly after we came up to a riot truck and several cars that had been burned and were still burning in the streets. By this time it was
nighttime. We kept moving and then after a while we saw everybody getting to the right hand side of the street. Then suddenly, we saw a riot truck come careening down the street. Everyone was scrambling to get out of the way, and I was sure that it would start shooting. That was what was on everyone's minds, that it was going to start shooting at all the people in the street. We scrambled to the sidewalks against the walls. But the riot truck didn't shoot. Instead it went speeding
down the street, going at least 80 miles an hour, and there were still people in the street throwing rocks at it and trying to get out of the way! As it sped thru, it hit a guy who had been in the street, and it kept going, and the man's body, and I say body because he was killed instantly, was still spinning from being hit so hard.

That was the hardest day for me so far during these protests. I went out yesterday and saw Tahrir and it was wonderful to see the hundreds of thousands of people protesting peacefully. But today was a different story what with the fights in Tahrir. I am very worried about how polarized the situation has become here in Egypt and I worry that things may get much much worse. While many people have left the country, after having been here for 5 years, I am staying put to watch
and wait and see what will happen.

Hoping everyone in Egypt is staying safe.


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