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A visit to Tahrir Square, Cairo by K.J.S.Chatrath

I had planned a visit to Egypt when things appeared to have cooled down there. However just about 3 days before my date of departure quite suddenly on 2nd February, a tragic event took place in an Egyptian city where over 70 football fans  died. This sad incident triggered off protests in various places in Egypt. The Tahrir Square, Cairo too saw demonstrations leading to some unfortunate deaths. I had a take a decision – ‘To go or not to go’ (with apologies to Shakespeare).  I sought the advice of my brother in law who immediately rang up a friend staying in Cairo and reassured me that all was OK. I also asked my son, who has travelled more than any person I know of. His advice was short but pointed, “If I were you, I would carry on with my programme.” That sealed it and this 68 years plus took the flight to Cairo.

After a restful night I went to visit the Cairo Museum on the 7th February morning.  Just before reaching the museum we crossed the Tahrir Square. ‘Midan Tahrir’ or the  Liberation Square, also commonly known as Tahrir Square, is the name given to the large public square at the epi-centre of modern Cairo. All seemed quiet and peaceful though one could see the  banners, tents and some protestors. But the life seemed to be going on smoothly. I made a repeat visit to the Square on the morning of 15th and the scene was almost the same.

Here are a few photos taken by me.


That’s me posing in the Tahrir Square

There is a statue on a red padestal on one side of the Square. It is of f Naqib al-Ashraf Sayyid Umar bin Husayn Makram (1750-1822)  who was a leading religious figure of his age and a center of resistance to Napoleon’s French invasion in 1798-1800.  This statue of Makram seems to be keeping an eye on the goings on in the Square.


Statue of Makram keeping an eye on the goings on in the Square


A quiet morning


It was rather early in the day for sales to pick up.


Crossing this  Square on foot is really tough.


Pretty damsels moving about quite nonchalantly


Text and photographs by K.J.S.Chatrath


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