Tahrir, a new newspaper for a new Egypt
Tahrir editor Ibrahim Eissa (seated right) approving the next day's front-page cartoon / Thanassis Cambanis
CAIRO, Egypt -- On the fourth day of publication, Ibrahim Eissa bounds into the newsroom of Tahrir newspaper, his latest anti-establishment venture and quite literally the offspring of Egypt's January uprising. It's midday, and he's ready to plough through the day's diet of news stories, opinion columns, and satirical cartoons that seem poised to make this tabloid the paper of record for the demographic known here simply as "the youth of the revolution."
He's wearing his trademark brown suspenders, and his trapezoidal mustache twitches as he hails the receptionist, the foreign news editor, and the managing editor.
"I'm the oldest person here," proclaims Eissa, who appears also to be the most energetic. He later explains that youthfulness is a point of pride in Egypt's gerontocracy, where the octogenarian president appointed septuagenarian deputies to run his police state. Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawi, Egypt's current leader, is 75.
Tahrir launched at the beginning of July after months of planning. The paper is determined to challenge authoritarianism and corruption, and to cross whatever red lines Egypt's rulers try to draw around a free press.
"Before, Mubarak was the red line," Eissa says as he discusses the paper in his narrow corner office, as editors parade through. "Now the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has replaced Mubarak. They don't want anyone to criticize them directly."