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Posted at 9:45 AM ET, 02/ 5/2011

Egypt protests: Reports and audio from the ground, Days 12 and 13

By Elizabeth Flock
egypt riots
Government protesters raise their hands in the victory sign in Cairo's Tahrir Square. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)


» Day Eleven Protests
» Day Ten Protests
» Day Nine Protests
» Day Eight Protests
» Day Seven Protests
» Day Six Protests
» Day Five Protests
» Day Four Protests
» Day One Protests
» Latest Tweets about Cairo
» Police rejoin army in the streets: The Washington Post report
» Submit protest photos | Full photo gallery

Reports from the field
Thousands of protesters still fill the streets of Egypt, demanding the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. However, tentative signs emerged Friday that a solution may be found in Egypt. We'll continue to update you with reports from our correspondents in the field. We'll be marking time in Eastern Standard Time. Egypt is seven hours ahead. (See World Clock here.)

12:07 p.m. EET, Sunday / 5:07 a.m. EST, Sunday

Protesters stand ground, chant in Tahrir Square

Our correspondent Will Englund sent this audio postcard Sunday morning as he stood in the center of a ring of protesters, who were chanting in unison.


11:30 p.m. EET / 4:30 p.m. EST

Support for protesters from around the world

Despite the cold and rainy weather, government protesters are standing their ground at Tahrir Square into the night.

Around the world, many are sending messages of support for the protesters in Cairo. Watch the video of supporters from Bahrain, Greece and the United States. "It started in Tunisia, and it will wind up in Saudi Arabia. It is a contagious freedom. Freedom has wings and it is quickly flying," one protester in New York said.


Opposition demonstrators pray in front of army tanks alongside the Egyptian Museum on the front line near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Saturday. The army brought the tanks to bring down the barricades, but the protesters stood in defiance and the tanks stopped. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)
A government protester rushes up the stairs in burned-out building on the edge of Tahrir Square. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
A government protester prays at the feet of Egyptian soldiers as they stand guard near the Egyptian Museum. (Tara Todras-Whitehill/Associated Press)
Egyptian Gen. Hassan El-Rueini shakes hands with a government protester next to Tahrir Square. (Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press)
Nuns pray in St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, which serves many foreign-born residents of Cairo. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

6:00 p.m. EET / 11:00 a.m. EST

Clinton urges demonstrators to support government's transition plan

Representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition party, were not present at negotiation talks with Vice President Omar Suleiman. Talks are being held to explore the possibility that Suleiman would manage a transition to democracy and assume many of the powers held by Mubarak.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Egyptian demonstrators Saturday to support their military-backed government's plan to lead a transition to democracy. She warned that the alternative could be a power vacuum filled by radicals.

State television also said the Egyptian stock exchange would remain closed at least through Monday.

6:07 p.m. EET / 11:07 a.m. EST

Update: Al-Jazeera reported that Mubarak resigned as head of the ruling NDP party, but Egyptian state TV is denying that he resigned.

6 p.m. EET / 11 a.m. EST

Opposition parties open negotiations

Some Egyptian opposition parties opened negotiations with Vice President Omar Suleiman. While the opposition had earlier vowed not to begin talks until Mubarak left office, the meetings today suggest they may be divided over how to proceed.

5:47 p.m. EET / 10:47 a.m. EST

Cairo Bureau Chief Leila Fadel and photographer Linda Davidson talk about being detained

Washington Post staff photographer Linda Davidson, Cairo Bureau Chief Leila Fadel, translator and longtime Post employee Sufian Taha and Mansour el-Sayed Mohammed Abo Gouda, their Egyptian driver, were taken into custody by military police Thursday. All four were later released.

Davidson and Fadel describe the lead-up to their arrest and experience in detention: "We were blindfolded and handcuffed and interrogated," Davidson says.



5:46 p.m. EET / 10:46 a.m. EST/

Leadership of National Democratic Party resigns

The scene in Tahrir Square is much calmer today, but crowds remain. When Gen. Hassan El-Rawani, the head of the Egyptian army's central command, asked the demonstrators to leave the square, they chanted back at him: "We are not leaving. He [Mubarak] is leaving." Some demonstrators, apparently fearing an attempt to evacuate the square, lay down in front of the military's tanks.

The leadership of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party has resigned, including Gamal Mubarak, the son of President Hosni Mubarak, al-Jazeera reports. The new secretary general of the party is Hossam Badrawi, who is viewed as a member of the liberal wing of the party.

Al-Jazeera's latest video from Cairo shows the Army removing the burned-out police truck that has been on an on-ramp since Friday, and the museum barricades still up. Traffic is heavy.

3:07 p.m. EET / 8:07 a.m. EST

Protesters lie in front of tanks

Cairo Bureau Chief Leila Fadel reports that government protesters this morning lay down in front of the military tanks that were attempting to dismantle barricades around the square. Fadel filed this report just after noon, Cairo time (5 a.m. EST).


3 p.m. EET / 8 a.m. EST

A lonely night singer in Tahrir Square

Will Englund describes the changing sounds of the square as he hears them through his hotel room window. "Every day there's a wall of sound," he says, and last night, there was a lone man singing to himself.


By Elizabeth Flock  | February 5, 2011; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Next: ♪♫ 'Sweet Child o' Mine' should never, ever be sung by anyone other than Axl Rose


I am tired of the hypocritical U.S. statements that it supports the Egyptian people, while the fact is that the U.S. TREATS THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION AS A "WILD WEST" CATTLE STAMPEDE and does everything to keep it under its control. The U.S. pulls the strings behind the scenes to make sure that whatever regime takes hold after Mubarak is a pro-American regime. The U.S. is determined not to accept anything less – not matter what the Egyptian people's aspiration are, and no matter whom they want to govern them! And contrary to what Obama keeps telling us about prodding Hosni Mubarak to let it go, Mubarak told Christiane Ampadour that "Obama did not ask him to leave." Today, the Seattle Post Intelligencer features the headline: "Mubarak's men key to the U.S. reform in Egypt, and that U.S. diplomats admit that there is also a plan that steers around the Muslim Brotherhood." The U.S. just wants the Mubarak regime in power - but with a different facade, and in a phony democratic cloak!

The U.S. needs time under Omaan Suleiman -Obama's choice to replace Mubarak, to establish some legal blocks with an interim government controlled by Mubarak's henchmen that will limit the influence of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in any future government. If I can use a metaphor, the U.S. wants to preserve the Mubarak clunker regime, rebuilt its engine with Mubarak's henchmen, put some new tires [weak opposition figures in an interim government], and then present it to the people of Egypt as the vehicle that will take them to the promised land of the post-Mubarak era.

Is that sound U.S. policy? Well, it does sound like a nice U.S. policy for us, but it certainly doesn't sound good to the Egyptian people. And if Obama is honest that "the future of Egypt belongs to the Egyptian people," they should be left alone to decide it. And I am sure if we treat them with respect, they would like to be our friends because both the U.S. and a new Egypt will benefit from such a "free chosen friendship." But if we try to control their future government, and impose of them an artificial friendship and another despotic regime - as we did for the last 30 years, they would certainly resent that. Our choice should be made now, and it should be an honest one. The adage: "You fooled me once, shame on you; you fooled me twice, shame on me" would probably dictate the future attitude of the Egyptian people toward the U.S. Nikos Retsos, retire professor

Posted by: Nikos_Retsos | February 5, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Am I too understand our country funds Egypt annually??? Why their leader has billions and something like 2 homes in Beverly Hills. Where does America get all this money to help other countries--out of our taxes for social security--whatta ya wanna bet???

Posted by: mac7 | February 5, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dseigler2 | February 6, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dseigler2 | February 6, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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