Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
The Revolution Rolls

In a test of wills that seemed to be approaching a critical juncture, hundreds of thousands of people crammed into Cairo’s vast Tahrir Square on Tuesday, seeking to muster a million protesters demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Their mood was jubilant, and the crowd offered a remarkable tapestry of Egypt’s society, from the most westernized to the most traditional, from young women with babies to old men with canes.

Tahrir Square for some has assumed some of the symbolic importance of Tiananmen Square. But, in marked contrast, a uniformed military spokesman declared on state television that "the armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people." He declared that the military understood "the legitimacy of your demands" and "affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody."

A roar of celebration rose up immediately from the crowd in the square, where a television displayed the news.


Exhilarated by the Hope in Cairo
by Nicholas D. Kristof

As I stand in Tahrir Square, the yearning and hopefulness of these Egyptians taking huge risks is intoxicating.

"I’m going home right now to get food and drinks for the demonstrators," Waheed Hussein told me as he hopped into his car, allowing a hitchhiker to jump in. With great pride, the two new friends explained that this would be their contribution to the birth of an authentic Egyptian democracy.

Tahrir Square has suddenly become the most exhilarating place in the world.

Yet one thing nags at me. These pro-democracy protesters say overwhelmingly that America is on the side of President Mubarak and not with them. Everywhere I go, Egyptians insist to me that Americans shouldn’t perceive their movement as a threat. And I find it sad that Egyptians are lecturing Americans on the virtues of democracy.

"We need your support," pleaded Dr. Mahmood Hussein, a physiology professor. "We need freedom."

We owe it to the brave men and women of Tahrir Square – and to our own history and values – to make one thing very clear: We stand with the peaceful throngs pleading for democracy, not with those who menace them.

The Obama adminstration could be doing better – perhaps supporting, oh, let's call it a "freedom agenda".

CAIRO - A massive and highly expectant crowd of pro-democracy demonstrators converged on this capital city's central plaza Tuesday, energized by the belief that their week-old movement is on the verge of ousting President Hosni Mubarak.

By late afternoon, hundreds of thousands of cheering people packed every inch of Tahrir Square, with supporters still streaming in from every direction and filling the surrounding broad avenues of downtown.

Flag-waving demonstrators held signs, hand-written in Arabic and English, that read "Game over" and "checkmate." Groups of protesters chanted joyously against the president, their words reverberating across the city: "Mubarak, wake up! Today is your last!"

Protesters called on the Obama administration to explicitly back their cause, and to help them force Mubarak out.

"Washington has been very anxious about what's happening here. But it shouldn't be anxious. It should be happy," said Mohammed Fouad, 29, a software engineer. "This will reduce terrorism. When people have their voice, they don't need to explode themselves."

Just so – and incredibly well said. Godspeed.


  egypt     freedom     middle east     politics  
about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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Freedom for Egypt