Tahrir Square on Friday was reminiscent of the 18 iconic days before Mubarak was ousted from presidency on Feb. 11, and the many Friday protests that have followed since. People carried signs and children wore revolutionary headbands with the colors of their prized Egyptian flag. Today, the square was a bit less crowded.
Similar to the all the other protests that have taken place since Jan. 25, Friday’s lacked central leadership; there was no single list of agreed-upon demands among various activists, party members and individuals.
“It doesn’t seem that it’s a strategy focused on the Egyptian population, but a strategy focused on keeping up the pressure on the military,” says Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “They feel as soon as they stop protesting, they will lose all their leverage and they’re not satisfied with what they’ve achieved so far.”
Many Egyptians urge patience
But many are content to give the military the benefit of the doubt.
“The protesters fear we are losing the revolution,” says student Heba Marrey, standing at the main gate of Cairo University’s sprawling campus with piles of books in her arms – too busy to attend the protest. “But the people who aren’t going are simply saying: be patient.”
Ms. Marrey says she supports the military because unlike the uprisings in countries like Libya and Syria, the Egyptian military helped their revolution. Many are, for the most part, pleased with the way the military is ruling and want to move forward in the post-revolution period.
“I think there is tension between the ongoing revolution and the political transition and [many Egyptians] are caught in the middle,” says Dr. Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment.