When guests come to visit Egypt from abroad, among their first things they do in Cairo is pay a visit to Tahrir (Liberation) Square, famous for its association with the January 25 Revolution.
When will we be willing to face the contradiction between the contradictory images of Tahrir Square? The first is of a place where thousands of dedicated young men and women descended, carrying brooms, dust pans and garbage bags, to clean up after the regime’s downfall; and the second, a year after it claimed center stage of the Arab Spring, is an image of total chaos.
Today, protestors camp in the square, in spite of all attempts by Egypt’s security officials to empty the area, and a growing numbers of street vendors converge there to hawk trinkets, fruit and even footwear. In a challenge to security, stability and hygiene, protesters and street vendors clash constantly as they vie for space in the famous Tahrir Square.
How can we condone this state of affairs in the very place that is meant to represent Egyptian dignity and pride?
translated from Al-Akhbar