Mohamed Mahmoud Battle

November, Friday the 18th we went to Tahrir demanding the end of the military rule; FINALLY people saw the true face of SCAF and marched to Tahrir. The day went peaceful. Many left the square at sunset however a few stayed among them were the families of the martyrs (demanding justice to be done to officers who killed their sons) and  those who were injured on Jan25, Jan28 and other clashes (they weren’t able to afford treatment for their injuries and the government wasn’t supporting them as they promised).

Saturday morning the police and the army raided the square beating up everyone in the sit-in including the injured. I was watching on Al-Jazeera and I became so ANGRY; this should not be happening. Violence is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. I drove to Tahrir and met a friend there. As i came closer i smelled the tear gas my heart started pounding from fear but i didnt let my fear control me. I saw a CSF truck on the side abandoned by the CSF officers after thats more protesters came to defend the sit-in. On the side street, Mohamed Mahmoud street, there was another armored truck with an officer on top shooting directly at the protesters, the protesters in return were throwing rock try to keep away from raiding the square.

They were shooting of rubber bullets and tear gas didn’t stop until late and it only stopped for like 10min and those 10min i was able to home to rest, (I used live of Mohamed Mahmoud), soon after the shooting started again and i was trapped at home along with my friends, we were unable to go out and help and we were unable to sleep. Later on we went on the roof top of our building to see what was happening, the smoke formed a cloud over the street and through this cloud i could only see the lights coming from the ambulances picking up the injured.

They stopped in the morning around 9am, we quickly took the chance and left the house heading to the nearest pharmacies and getting medical supplies. Around 10:30am the shooting started again and our state media started saying that the people protesting in tahrir are thugs who want to raid the Ministry of Interior, MOI is yes in the area but Mohamed Mahmoud was the not only street leading to it) so if we wanted to do so we wouldn’t have cornered ourselves in one street also Every time we would push back the CSF we would return to the square however they would come back and attack us.

Soon the square was full and thousands of people came to support our cause and to the stop of violence against peaceful protesters. Protesters started flowing through falaky street hoping to put more pressure on the police to stay back and not enter the square. I joined them on falaky street with medical supplies: cotton, sodium chloride (to reduce the tear gas effect) and vinegar and alcohol sprays (to help in the breathing process). Tear gas bombs were shot one after the other sometimes 2 bombs at the same time, I stayed on the streets helping protester from 10:3oam till sunset when the police started heavily attacking with more officers running towards us, we started running and i went up a building with another 15 people. The police raided the field hospital i was in and took all those who were injured and or unable to run. At the top floor of that building a woman opened up her home to us, it was a very simple house, she didnt have much to offer but she was not afraid to help us. we stayed there for about an hour hiding. In this hour we turned on the TV to see that the army officers attack tahrir burning the tents, beating and killing those who were not fast enough in getting away.

Then the weirdest thing happened, the army left the square, and the police retreated  which made the people come back to the square. I really have to stop here. why did they leave? why didn’t they keep the square ? it was as if they wanted those clashes to continue. it was as if they want to give the police time to regroup and reload.

I was able finally to leave that woman’s house and go back home where again the shooting went on all night. Again no sleep and no peace. The shooting stopped around 9am and i was able to leave again, and again i went to get medical supplies, food and water. But the police had pushed the protesters on falaky street into bab el louq.

On bab el-louq i met Nour. Nour is a 16 year old boy who decided to help me and my friend. We started talking him and me, he said that this is all game to postpone the parliament elections next week, the police has always been dirty and dishonest. He seemed very aware for his a 16 year old boy. He told me about a nightmare he had, he dreamed the police were beating him up and he was crying for help but no one helped him. I was speechless, I really didnt know what to tell him. I felt anger towards our current situation that turned teenagers into old men afraid to speak. Kids and teenager are fighting and dying for there future instead of enjoying the present.

I couldn’t go home that night and i stayed at a friend’s place. I slept for the first time in 2 nights only to be waken up quickly by the feeling of pain in my back, stomach and bones. My head was dizzy, i felt i was being poisoned slowly. 3 days of none stop tear gas so far. I still went back to bab el-louq the next Tuesday. I heard from some people that Muslim brothers called us thugs and refused to come to the square, that really made me sad; they sold us out. I felt betrayed. I left bab el-louq for a short break and went to tahrir and there were thousands of people, it lifted my spirits up a bit and i still saw some people from the MBs but not formally but some of them were there. The Muslim Brothers were preparing for the parliamentary elections and didn’t want to lose.

Wednesday, I met Ahmed, a soldier in the army who had a few days off from the service and decided to come to Mohamed Mahmoud to help the protesters as he saw that this was unacceptable. He said the army was backing up the CSF  and was afraid if getting caught. Later on he told us that he was preparing for his sister’s wedding.

Wednesday evening some Islamic leaders of Al-Azhar came for a truce, the police agreed but ended seconds after the police started shooting at the Al-Azhar leader as they turned their backs to the police and the clashes continued….

On thursday the same thing happened but this time more Azhar leaders came but with were not able to stop the clashes except for 2 hours, Thursday evening a SCAF representative spoke on TV saying that they have tolerated enough and neither them nor the police attacked any protesters (such murders).

But one of the gains was the speeding up of the presidential elections instead of having in June 2013 it was brought forward to May and June 2012, they couldn’t handle the pressure of the street. The parliament elections were days after that and the plan was to give up power to the new elected parliament which they didn’t of course.

The ultras were there for the entire week and they are kids between the ages of 13 and 18 years old, they were fearless. The more the police hit the more people came. I can’t erase the memory of those kids getting injured and dying on Mohamed Mahmoud. The sirens of ambulances are still in my head. I stayed sick for a month after that constant pain in my body, cant eat right and always tired. I thought it was my end approaching.

when the elections came i knew that it would not be a fair elections and its all a game because a part of wanted some hope of a stable country where every one could be treated fairly. On voting i couldn’t vote for any one who didn’t support the revolution.

Clashes ended on Thursday after the army put up a wall, almost 50 people died, and more than 1000 injured (among them lost their eyes because police was aiming directly into the protesters faces). Deaths happened due a shot in the head or suffocated from the tear gas.

I would understand if many want to forget those people and put it all behind them but i cant and i cant especially forget those who killed my bothers and sisters are still out there enjoying his freedom.

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