January Revolution

January 2011: The “Day of Revolt”: Protests erupted throughout Egypt, with tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo and thousands more in cities throughout Egypt - January Revolution introduction. The protests targeted President Hosni Mubarak’s government, and mostly adhered to non-violence. There were some reports of civilian and police casualties. 26 January 2011: “Shutting down The Internet and Mobile Services”: After several Facebook groups were created and tweets (from Twitter) called for mass demonstrations, the Egyptian government shut down internet access for most of the country. 108] This was done to cripple one of the protesters’ main organizational tools and to impede the flow of news and people. 28 January 2011: The “Friday of Anger” protests began. Hundreds of thousands demonstrated in Cairo and other Egyptian cities after Friday prayers. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei arrived in Cairo. There were reports of looting. Prisons were opened and burned down, allegedly on orders from then-Minister of the Interior Habib El Adly. Prison inmates escaped en masse, in what was believed to be an attempt to terrorise protesters.

Police forces were withdrawn from the streets, and the military was deployed. International fears of violence grew, but no major casualties were reported. President Hosni Mubarak made his first address to the nation and pledged to form a new government. Later that night clashes broke out in Tahrir Square between revolutionaries and pro-Mubarak demonstrators, leading to the injury of several and the death of some. 29 January 2011: The military presence in Cairo increased.

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A curfew was declared, but was widely ignored as the flow of defiant protesters to Tahrir Square continued throughout the night. The military reportedly refused to follow orders to fire live ammunition, and exercised restraint overall. There were no reports of major casualties. 1 February 2011: Mubarak made another televised address and offered several concessions. He pledged to not run for another term in the elections planned for September, and pledged political reforms. He stated he would stay in office to oversee a peaceful transition. Small but violent clashes began hat night between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak groups. 2 February 2011: “Incident of the Camel”.

Violence escalated as waves of Mubarak supporters met anti-government protesters, and some Mubarak supporters rode on camels and horses into Tahrir Square, reportedly wielding sticks. President Mubarak reiterated his refusal to step down in interviews with several news agencies. Incidents of violence toward journalists and reporters escalated amid speculation that the violence was being encouraged by Mubarak as a way to bring the protests to an end. February 2011: A multifaith Sunday Mass was held with Egyptian Christians and Egyptian Muslims in Tahrir Square. Negotiations involving Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and representatives of the opposition commenced amid continuing protests throughout the nation. The Egyptian army assumed greater security responsibilities, maintaining order and guarding The Egyptian Museum of Antiquity. Suleiman offered reforms, while others of Mubarak’s regime accused foreign nations, including the US, of interfering in Egypt’s affairs.

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