Sunday, February 6, 2011

Peaceful pro-Mubarak protest in Maadi (Cairo)

Below is a video I took several days ago of  peaceful pro-Mubarak march of 100-200 people in Maadi, Cairo.

I have talked to a number of Egyptians who like President Mubarak and would like him to remain in power.  One young man said he was like a father figure.  Another woman commented on how he was a very nice man and how she just wanted things to go back to normal (without a curfew, without worrying about looters, with all businesses open, etc.)  What was interesting was that the young man who told me he liked President Mubarak also called me from one of the Tahrir Square anti-Mubarak rallies at a later point.  I have to have a longer talk with him about his perspective.  Perhaps he is just in favor of government reform.

My sense of Egyptian people is that there are definitely people who like President Mubarak and would turn out to protest for him without being paid or ordered to by their company.  However they are not the type of people who would attack a group of protesters with a different view, as did the pro-Mubarak force that came to Tahrir Square a couple days ago armed with rocks and charging in on horses and camels.  That type of mob mentality is not like the Egyptians I know who are peaceful by nature and would never attack their fellow Egyptians.  

Here is the link if you can't view the video on this blog:

One of the things that has changed in the past two weeks is that people are having conversations and openly sharing their views on politics.  Though there are masses supporting the goals of those in Tahrir Square, it is a complex society with many views.

I was on the metro after the Million Person March and listened to a conversation about the President, transition, transformations and hopes and/or concerns about all of these.   (Actually, a kind young woman in the car translated the conversation for me since they were speaking in Arabic.)  The car wasn't as full as it normally is so there were about 8 people sitting on one side facing 8 people sitting directly across from them and a few people standing in the aisle so it felt like a conversation circle.  People of different views were arguing back and forth about their political opinion.  This type of conversation would never had happened just two weeks ago.

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