Tweets from Tahrir

How the Egyptian revolution unfolded on Twitter

April 11, 2011
6 min read


Alex NunnsAlex Nunns is Red Pepper's political correspondent. He tweets at @alexnunns

The ‘tweets’ of the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution represent some of the most remarkable real-time reporting ever seen. Twitter was a kind of alternative press, a way of getting the word out to other Egyptians and the outside world, and a means of undermining the state controlled media.

The uprising was not, as some have called it, a ‘Twitter revolution’. Twitter was a tool, not a cause. The revolution had much deeper roots stretching back years: it was a reaction to neoliberal economic policies, the lack of opportunities and the brutality of the regime. But the way it was seen in Egypt and around the world was heavily influenced by social media.

On 21 April OR Books, an independent progressive publisher, will release a collection of tweets from the uprising. Tweets from Tahrir, edited by Red Pepper’s very own Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns, is available exclusively to order online at www.orbooks.com. The following are edited extracts from three of the crucial days of the revolution.

the day of revolt Tuesday 25 January

Inspired by the example of the Tunisians, Egyptians took to the streets in unprecedented numbers, overcoming police brutality to briefly occupy Tahrir Square

3arabawy Hossam  11:02:28 Jan 25

@shadihamid I’m not expecting a revolution today. I’m expecting protests. So let’s not shoot high so as not to disappoint people later.

monasosh monasosh 13:56:06 Jan 25

This is great, we r in nahya street, ppl r walking by our side #jan25

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 15:30:06 Jan 25

We are taking all the tight streets of shubra with us to Ramsesees we are heading #jan25 http://yfrog.com/h56kshgj

ashrafkhalil ashraf khalil 15:57:42 Jan 25

#Jan25 amazing! Huge crowd just rushed in from abdeen to join thousands controlling half of tahrir square

norashalaby Nora Shalaby 15:58:37 Jan 25

Tear gas!!

monasosh monasosh 16:00:04 Jan 25

Eyes burning fuck #jan25 http://yfrog.com/gy70kgj

norashalaby Nora Shalaby 16:04:42 Jan 25

Tear gas is fucking deadly. Cant see!

monasosh monasosh 16:21:43 Jan 25

Police is throwing rocks at us #jan25 http://yfrog.com/h06ipbj

TravellerW Mo-ha-med 16:27:33 Jan 25

Police throws rocks @ demonstrtrs while we raised our arms. We’re unarmed, they’re in full gear. We are strong, they’re weak. #25jan #Egypt

3arabawy Hossam  18:34:52 Jan 25

Ya shabab, Tahrir is a war zone now. Tens of thousands r protesting the same chants as the Tunisians. #Jan25

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 21:58:59 Jan 25

OMG Twitter is back!! Thank god ! The situation in Tahrir is beyond amazing eveeryone should head there #jan25

3arabawy Hossam  00:47:41 Jan 26

Police has started attacking the downtown Cairo occupation. Reports of tear gas fired and arrests. Protesters chased to side roads. #Jan25

NevineZaki Nevine 01:40:49 Jan 26

I CAN NOT BELIEVE WHAT IT HAS REACHED TO, THIS IS INSANE! #JAN25

 

Bloody Wednesday Wednesday 2 February

The day that pro-Mubarak thugs were mobilised to attack the protesters in the square with extreme violence

3arabawy Hossam  12:20:04 Feb 2

Here r the latest updates: The govt is countermobilizing against us now. There r several pro-Mubarak protests taking place in Cairo now.

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 13:39:10 Feb 2

Pro-Mubarak march now coming into Tahrir in ‘a big number’ and it will get ugly http://yfrog.com/h3zsgekj

TravellerW Mo-ha-med 13:40:49 Feb 2

INCREDIBLE standoff between pro-change and pro-Mubarak demos at Tahrir NOW #Egypt #jan25 http://twitpic.com/3vqkcp

TravellerW Mo-ha-med 13:46:50 Feb 2

Real panic in tahrir. Square overun by Mubarak drmonstrstion #Egypt #jan25

norashalaby Nora Shalaby 14:40:06 Feb 2

Is this mubaraks answer to us?? Sending thugs to throw stones at us! #Jan25

3arabawy Hossam  15:01:23 Feb 2

Plainclothes thugs (police) are on horses now, trying to storm Tahrir Square, with whips! #Jan25

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 16:10:08 Feb 2

They r coming in with horses and thugs, we need more revolution people in Tahrir square now!

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 16:15:28 Feb 2

Everyone in Cairo who wants Mubarak out and stands for justice come to Tahrir NOW!

ashrafkhalil ashraf khalil 16:43:07 Feb 2

#jan25 I saw at least a dozen guys coming back badly bloodied from front line. Incredibly violent scene and the soldiers are just watching

monasosh monasosh 16:53:25 Feb 2

Many are injured on the Egyptian Museum side #Jan25 They need help

monasosh monasosh 17:20:10 Feb 2

Cut wounds, fractures, rupture eyes. Weapons used glass, coke bottles, knives, swords #Jan25

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 17:56:49 Feb 2

The Tahrir liberators are way less in numbers than the Mubarak thugs if this continues more ppl will die! MUBARAK OUT NOW!

TravellerW Mo-ha-med 18:01:53 Feb 2

Pro-Mubarak thugs are police. This is POLICE MASSACRING CIVILIANS, make no mistake. #Egypt #Jan25

tarekshalaby Tarek Shalaby 18:10:08 Feb 2

I’m fine but we’re under serious attack and there’s no way out. I’m staying to the very end. Hasta la victoria, siempre.(@FraCicardi)

TravellerW Mo-ha-med 18:58:48 Feb 2

I am seeing – not reporting, seeing – Mubarak ppl throwing ,molotov cocktails on demonstrators, and on shops. #Egypt #jan25

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 19:28:39 Feb 2

Gun fire from talaat harb st. We are in a battle field

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 19:39:22 Feb 2

I WILL NOT LEAVE TAHRIR TONIGHT so stop telling me to do so! We need more people in TAHRIR NOW!! Get here for our freedom!!! #Egypt

monasosh monasosh 22:57:36 Feb 2

This is a damn war zone, and the world is watching us! #Jan25

monasosh monasosh 04:06:34 Feb 3

Some1 among the thugs on bridge had a riffle, took his time & aimed, 3 wounded, 1 dead, army to intervening #Jan25

monasosh monasosh 09:54:52 Feb 3

Charging my mobile,on a balacony overlooking Tahrir square, absorbing the horror of last night & the bravery of our ppl #Jan25

Friday of the martyrs Friday 11 February. After 18 days of protest, Mubarak fell

3arabawy Hossam  18:02:49 حسام

Mubarak has stepped down, says Omar Suleiman. #Jan25

monasosh monasosh 18:12:41 Feb 11

Shit! Ppl are going crazy, screaming and running, Mubarak jas stepped down #Jan25

TravellerW Mo-ha-med 18:15:14 Feb 11

Egypt, the Middle East, the World will never be the same. From #Tahrir square – CONGRATULATIONS, FREE #EGYPT! #jan25

NevineZaki Nevine 18:18:58 Feb 11

Its crazy!! The streets are craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazyyyyyyy!!!!

ashrafkhalil ashraf khalil 18:19:25 Feb 11

Amazing, just amazing! Part of me never truly believed, even yesterday, that this could happen #egypt #jan25

monasosh monasosh 18:44:23 Feb 11

Today we fulfilled our promise to those who died #Jan25 #KhaledSaid

Gsquare86 Gigi Ibrahim 20:10:39 Feb 11

I can’t stop crying. I’ve never been more proud in my life

3arabawy Hossam  20:14:39 Feb 11 حسام

I can’t recall how many times we thought we ‘re about to b massacred & our revolution ‘d be squashed. Still the will of the people prevailed

monasosh monasosh 00:31:48 Feb 12

I’m in Tahrir square.This is where it all started on #Jan25 when we declared our demands ppl thought we were mad. Look where madness got us

TravellerW Mo-ha-med 05:08:31 Feb 12

Now Ahmed, whose son Eslam was killed by the police & who vowed not to leave #Tahrir until Mub. left, can go home. #Egypt #Jan25 #Justice

Buy Tweets from Tahrir online from OR Books.


Alex NunnsAlex Nunns is Red Pepper's political correspondent. He tweets at @alexnunns


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