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My mother's account of Tahrir Square attacks

Protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo, with identification taken from a pro-Mubarak rioter which shows that person to be a member of security forces. Feb. 2, 2011. Photo: omarroberthamilton/Flickr

From an Egyptian-Canadian student: "My mother, Mariam, is a medical doctor in Egypt. She was in Tahrir today -- Thursday, Feb. 3 -- treating people who had been wounded in yesterday's vicious attacks. She wanted me to share this information with as many people as possible."

Mariam's account:

"Despite what happened yesterday, the mood in Tahrir is still uplifting and encouraging. These people were attacked yesterday by paid thugs bearing ‘white weapons' (knives, daggers, swords). Against these attacks, they defended themselves with only their bare hands and literally the ground beneath their feet -- pulling up the pavement to throw at their attackers.

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A siren song is this Cairo freedom fire

Anti and pro-Mubarak protesters clash at Tahrir square, in Cairo, Egypt, 2 Feb. 2011. The square was the scene of violent clashes between opposition protesters and pro-government supporters, with dozens reported injured. Photo: Nasser Nouri/Flickr

A siren song is this Cairo freedom fire, the Tunisian spark now a roaring flame.

A new Mecca in Tahrir Square.

I close my eyes and wander to the city of my birth, and I'm just eight years old in the helio-polis my Armenian family called home, playing in the Cairo sands, my father's 1940s Studebaker winding up the road to the Pyramids. And I'm now back in this moment, wondering, what exactly is this social media liberation hour we're in? The words come like this:

regime jam, the people's tram
stronger than the aswan dam
pyramid scheme a nation's dream a peoples' stream
of consciousness

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Falling Arab dictatorships and Israeli government panic

The walls are crumbling. The walls behind which dictators indulge in decadent opulence while "their" people are mired in wretched circumstance. The walls behind which "leaders" secretly sell -- for personal gain -- the rights of the people they claim to represent.

Across North Africa and the Middle East, across the Arab world, for decades dictatorship and deepening corruption, firmly supported by imperial powers, seemed beyond challenge. Today, once "stable" regimes are now facing a popular reckoning.

From the vantage point of Palestine, there are three new dynamics.

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Egypt's new dictatorship model for the digital age

Photo: flickr/Ted Eytan

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Egypt was ruled by the Mubarak dictatorship for 30 years before the people managed to overthrow him in 2011.

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Mass protests grow as military elite take Egypt back to dictatorship

Photo: flickr/Ted Eytan

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The military-dominated regime that seized power in Egypt in July 2013 has escalated its attacks on freedom and democracy in the country. A series of pronouncements were issued in late December, including the banning of the country's largest political movement -- the Muslim Brotherhood. By all evidence, Egypt's economic and military elite are taking the country back to the darkest days of the rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak or even farther into the abyss.

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Wael Ghonim on the social media spark that lit Egypt's revolutionary fire

Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir

by Wael Ghonim
(Mariner Books,
2012;
$18.95)

Reading Revolution 2.0 against the backdrop of the current unrest in Egypt, one can’t help but feel nostalgic.

After all, this book is an ode to the belief that people have the power to choose their political, social, and economic destinies -- at least if they unite in their struggle for justice.

And for all of us, it indeed seemed possible as we watched the Egyptian revolution unfold, when citizens who had up until been “unengaged,” “cautious” and “intimidated” finally broke through the barrier of fear. Who can forget those staggering scenes in Cairo’s Tahrir square full of millions of hopeful, demanding, persistent demonstrators finally finding their voice?

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David J. Climenhaga

From the Annals of Diplomacy: Stephen Harper fires a Cannon at the Parisians

| May 11, 2012
Redeye

Role of social media in Egyptian uprising

April 13, 2011
| Redeye speaks with media scholar Adel Iskandar about the part that Facebook and other social media did -- and did not -- play in the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
Length: 16:28

Toronto celebrates Egypt's victory

After 18 days of a popular uprising led to the overthrow of Egypt's dictator Hosni Mubarak on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, Toronto's Egyptian community and Torontonians of all backgrounds came out to celebrate at Dundas Square with hugs, chants, songs, drumming and dancing.



The celebrations were organized by the Toronto-Arab Solidarity Campaign. The campaign consists of a city-wide network in the Greater Toronto Area that supports the growing movements for freedom and democracy throughout the Arab world. It includes both Arab and non-Arab members, and organizations such as the Canadian Coptic Association, the Egyptian National Association for Change, the Canadian Arab Federation, the Canadian Peace Alliance, and the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War.

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