Selected reader dispatches from Egypt
Earlier this week, we asked readers to send The Post their dispatches from the ground in Egypt. Three of the first-person stories we've received so far provide varied perspectives on how events have unfolded in recent days.
Fatma Agwa shared her story from several days ago, describing "gunfire everywhere...such as everywhere here in Egypt...." She accused "Mubarak's men" of working with "thieves and criminals to loot some houses and shops...." Agwa continued: "Now in Egypt there is no food, no ambulances, no medicine, nothing here... every shop is closed, and we do not sleep at night because there are no police here, and all the thieves were released from prison! It is truly hell...."
Sarah Blake described herself as a 19-year-old American student in Cairo who has since returned home. She was at a street cafe on Jan. 26 when she and a friend "saw and heard the running of huge groups of people" and went to Tahrir Square to "see any of the action." But they found the square largely empty, and headed back to her hostel only to find "men chasing groups with 2x4s and lead pipes" nearby. On Jan. 28, Blake describes being "stuck in the action" trying to get food. While attempting to stay on the perimeter, she and her friend were funneled by police into the very center of the protests. Still, Blake was impressed by the Egyptian camaraderie:
I saw a man, his eyes bloodshot. He was struggling to breathe and could barely see and I offered him water from my bottle. He managed to find composure,... took that moment to put his anger aside and show genuine gratefulness. When he gave the bottle back he went back to yelling and screaming and protesting.
Chitranjan Sawant witnessed an argument among young men turn violent in Tahrir Square. "As the freedom fighter spoke, a rock came hurtling from the pro-Mubarak group and hit the freedom fighter in the head. With blood streaming down his face, he raised his voice many decibels and shouted, 'Down with Hosni Mubarak!' His friends gathered around him and started to bandage his wounds."
Sawant went on:
There was an Army tank parked nearby with a couple of soldiers standing on it and watching the pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak small groups of men coming to blows. The soldiers just watched the scene as if a cock-fight was being staged with money at stake. The soldiers took no action to separate the fighting sides or to stop the political feud from developing into a homicide. Someone from the crowd shouted and exhorted the soldiers to do something to stop the family feud, but soldiers stood motionless as if they were gripped with total inertia.
If you are in Egypt now or were on the ground for this week's protests, we invite you to send us your three-paragraph story at http://wapo.st/fromegypt. Please share this link with those you know who might want to contribute.
Posted by: Mikeystyle | February 5, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse