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The Frauds Of India was created on 12 January, 2011.

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    Misr Awakes

    Written by Pro-Ashant Chuck-Robot(e), our on-ground reporter in Cairo.

    There are many words to describe the situation at Cairo Antarashtriya Havai-adda; chaos is one of them. After collecting my baggage, I was screened for weapons and the sort. My contact in Egypt (known as Misr in the ancient world) is a capable man indeed. He took me through the security checks without any major problem. “The big problem,” he said, “will come once we reach downtown Cairo.”

    As you’re well aware, Egypt is on the brink of a people’s revolution (if you’re not, then go ahead! enjoy this article!), raising their voice against the despot president of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak. In fact, it is a matter of great pride for us at FOI, as a simple online protest for political reforms snowballed into a million plus movement, encompassing the Egyptian populace, across all strata of society. 

    Well, facts apart, I’m here in Cairo to report events on Ground Zero. 

    The presence of armed forces is a little disconcerting in any such scenario, but the Egyptian military has exhibited restrain in dealing with the protesters, despite Mubarak’s order to “deal with” them. This is a new chapter in the history of conflict resolution and one we hope will set the groundwork for such future events. While most soldiers were reluctant to talk to the press, I managed to interview one particular trooper. The conservation that ensued surprised me. He said, “True, the President ordered us to “deal with” the protesters. But when we were dispatched, we realised that we had no ammo. So, many of us were scared to be on the streets because we had no defence against the stones and rocks that the people were hurling at us. Fortunately, as we decided to not engage with the public, they didn’t harm us.” When asked if he was in favour of the President abdicating, he said, “Of course! He sent us out here with no ammo, he must go!”

    While in such conditions of crises, the economy is badly affected, there was one section of workers however, who benefited from the crisis: the truck drivers. Says Ibn Batuta (no relation to the song), “Since the political crisis in Cairo our business has been affected. But the protesters needed stones and pebbles to hurl at the cops and all. So, we started transporting all our products to them. And the best part is, it can even be recycled and used in construction.”

    The citizens, who are undoubtedly the driving force of the demand for reforms have a variety of opinions.

    A student of Cairo University says, “I joined the protest as my classes were cancelled. But I am concerned with the future of my country. Besides, I just became eligible for voting. Also, I hope the new president allows the excavation of the new ‘social network stones’.”

    The pro-Mubarak factions, who’ve been assaulting the anti-Mubarak ones, when asked if they were bribed said, “Yes, we have been bribed. The President is very kind to us unemployed people. If he leaves, we will have no jobs.”

    Foreigners, particularly CIA spooks are having a tough time figuring things out. This particular American spy I met in a coffee shop said, “People are so impulsive. Politicians we can manipulate, not these protesters. I mean, that’s why capitalism and democracy is great. God bless America!”

    As the tensions heightened, my contact suggested the impossible, an interview with Mubarak himself. As we made our way to the Presidential Palace, masquerading as security troops. The gates were a few metres away when Mubarak officially announced his resignation. Yes, I was disappointed in not making it to the President. But what I saw later, at Tahrir Square and on the streets of Cairo was the victory of the people. The protesters celebrated the success of their stand and defiance to an autocratic authority; the collective voice, reflecting thousands of individual desires proved to be resilient, and victorious.  

    My contact had tears in his eyes; yes, he was happy for his nation and people. But he was happier that the ban on Facebook and Twitter would soon be lifted. 

    Well, my visa was about to expire in a day, and more so, my contact was afraid that the authorities would discover it was a fake. I had entered Egypt, when it was in a state of political turmoil and I leave this country in its moment of hope.

    There were still thousands of people at Tahrir Square; a place that now had a whole new meaning altogether, a hard-won part of Egyptian history; like my contact said before I boarded my flight, “The age of the Pharaoh is over…it’s our children who will now write the future of this country. Just like you are writing about it.”


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