Day 13: Sunday Of Martyrs

by Zoe Pollock

NYT reports:

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood joined other opposition groups meeting with Vice President Omar Suleiman on Sunday in what seemed a significant departure in the nation’s uprising and political history.

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, Gamal Nassar, said the huge and sometimes violent demonstrations that have paralyzed Cairo for 13 days, reverberating around the Middle East, would continue “until the political path can have a role in achieving the aspirations of the protesters” an apparent reference to their goal of removing Mr. Mubarak.


4:44pm As opposition leader Ayman Noor of the Ghad party says that protesters will not leave until Mubarak steps down, a young couple named Ahmad and Mona are married in the middle of Tahrir Square:

12:58pm Our correspondent in Cairo says there's a "renewed energy" among the crowds in Tahrir Square, with a heavy flow of people making their way into the square. Music is played and the crowds are chanting "Irhul, irhul", meaning "leave, leave".

The BBC:

1314: The carnival atmosphere is back on the square with woman and children joining in, but there is also a renewed sense of determination... "Nissren, a protester who is sleeping here in the square, had just told me how Christians and Muslim are in the square together with none of the old tension. She says unlike before the 25th [of Jan], there is no sexual harassment of women. She believes things have now changed in Egyptian society. She says they will wait in the square 'one day, one week, one month, one year', whatever it takes to get rid of Mubarak. She says they will not get bored."

The Arabist weighs in on Suleiman:

With Hillary Clinton's backing for Suleiman as the lead on a transition in Egypt, we are quickly heading towards the formation of another strongman regime that cannot be trusted to deliver on the changes needed in the political environment. There needs to be a mechanism to integrate the opposition into the heart of the state to grant full legitimacy to its demand, and reduce the perception (and reality) of Omar Suleiman being the sole man at the helm.

Mr. ElBaradei told Fareed Zakaria of CNN:

It's a question of credibility. While Omar Suleiman was talking about freeing all the detainees, all the young people who are being detained, I got nine people detained immediately after meeting with me at my home here. They were kept for a couple of days. They were just released yesterday.

Max Fisher tweets:

Egyptian military makes fatal error of detaining Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin. It's so on.

nolanjazeera via Twitter:

2 #aje correspondents now held by #Egypt army @SherineT @AymanM - #FreesherineT #Freeayman. Please retweet urgently!!!!

AJE on the religious atmosphere in Cairo:

11:19am In a sign of unity, crowds in Tahrir Square are chanting "We are one, we are one" ahead of the prayers to be held at noon for those killed over the past 13 days of protest. "Muslims and Copts hand in hand for a new dawn to rise" is another chant and NadiaE wrote on Twitter: "Off to Tahrir to attend Christian mass. My father - a 73-yr-old ill, bearded conservative Muslim - is with me."

Robert Fisk analyzes:

The dark cynicism of the regime remains. Many pro-democracy demonstrators have noticed a strange phenomenon. In the months before the protests broke out on 25 January, a series of attacks on Coptic Christians and their churches spread across Egypt. The Pope called for the protection of Egypt's 10 per cent Christians. The West was appalled. Mubarak blamed it all on the familiar "foreign hand". But then after 25 January, not a hair of a Coptic head has been harmed. Why? Because the perpetrators had other violent missions to perform? When Mubarak goes, terrible truths will be revealed. The world, as they say, waits.

I’m so deeply moved by the grit that Egyptians have shown in struggling against the regime and by the help that some provided me, at great personal risk, in protecting me from thugs dispatched by America’s ally. Let’s show some faith in the democratic ideals for which these Egyptians are risking their lives.

(Photo: Tahrir Square an hour and a half ago, by justimage via Twitter)