A year on, Egyptians back at Tahrir Square to mark uprising



A year on, Egyptians back at Tahrir Square to mark uprising Cairo: Egyptians gathered here at the Tehrir square to mark the completion of their revolution that begin a year ago leading to the ousted of President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-old regime.

They had gather on the anniversary eve to celebrate and commemorate the revolution.

In an effort to preempt massive protests planned, the Egyptian government and military ruler of the country, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) took several measures including granting government jobs to all those got injured during the protests.

Finalising the compensations to be paid to them, granting them medals of honour and arranging for the Parliament to convene for the first time on January 23, two days before the anniversary.

Egyptian Parliament, on the second day of its functioning also decided to form a fact-finding committee on the victims of the revolution and sending a mission to Tahrir Square on the anniversary to assure revolutionaries that revolution's goals would be achieved.

The Chief of the SCAF, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi announced the end of the state of emergency in a televised speech late yesterday afternoon, few hours before the anniversary.

Egypt has been in the state of emergency since 1981 when Mubarak came to power.

Tantawi speech did not appease the activists, who said the rhetoric, tone, language and even set up of the speech was reminiscent of Mubarak's speeches. Also the lifting of emergency was also not welcomed by them.

Human rights activist Hossam Bahgat said "Mubarak used to say he will cancel the emergency law except in cases of terrorism and narcotics. The speech by Tantawi today is no different. Policemen can still stop anyone in the street because they believe he is a thug."

For some, January 25 is a day of celebration while for others it is a commemoration, as at least 846 people killed and 6,000 injured during the revolution.

The SCAF insists the day is to celebrate the revolution. The view was also shared by the Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, who combined won a majority in Parliament. They say they will take to the streets to protect the squares.

For the revolutionaries, who are taking to the squares to commemorate the people who lost their lives last year and who were not avenged so far.

The silent majority or who have been named "the Party of the Couch" is in fear the day may be chaotic or witness violence tantamount to last years.

Many people may not leave their houses at all today. They are also stocking up on food and cash money in fear the country might come to a standstill like last year.

PTI