Tahrir Square. That’s a place that I’m fairly certain that everyone in the world knows about by now, thanks to its infamy of the birthplace of both the “Arab Spring” and Egypt‘s revolution of 2011. A place that has also gained noteriety for its harsh military crackdowns. Its a place that holds incredible significance in the mind of Egyptians after their stunning success at ousting fromer President Hosni Mubarak, a name that none dare utter in modern Cairo, one that has been struck from anywhere it was once written, including a bustling Metro station.
I was in Tahrir Square on my recent trip to the Middle East, visiting on Friday, December 30, 2011, one of the biggest protest days of the week and less than a month before the one year anniversary of the start of the rebellion that shook the world. On this, that 1 year anniversary, I’d like to share some of those images with you now.
First though, notice the photo of what Tahrir Square used to look like before the revolution. With grass and a fountain. It’s on the lower left corner of the banner above. Then check out the photos below of what Tahrir Square looks like after everything that’s happened…
I was struck by how much the permanent protesters in Tahrir Square resembled the recent Occupy Wall Street protests in the U.S. Tents were everywhere, as were people with their protest signs, as well as reminders of the events that had occurred there.
The day started out quietly, but things picked up as the day grew later, peaking in mid-afternoon.
A Burned Building
It’s hard to miss the burned shell of a building next to the nearby Egyptian Museum. This place was formerly the headquarters for Mubarak’s “Political Party.” Much like all references to the former regime, this building now sits abandoned in ruin.