Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Demonstrations Continue

The wind of revolution whistled down the streets of the Cairene down town area again. In the morning, the Shaykhs from the Azhar University organized a protest demonstration in front of the Ministry of Religious Endowments in order to demand the independence of their University and the rest of the Azhar institutions from the state. At the same time, they asked for the right to directly elect the head of those establishments. 
Theologians (shaykhs) from the Azhar institutions protesting in front of the Ministry of Religious Endowments

This demonstration of the most respected Islamic theologians of the country was completely peaceful compared to another one, only a couple of streets further to the south-east. There, the police gathered in order to plead for higher wages and more respect, in front of the generally detested building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
This monumental edifice, a symbol of violent power, with its totalitarian aspect always reminded me of George Orwell’s “Ministry of Love” and, as a matter of fact, it seems to have had strangely similar functions under the successive Egyptian authoritarian regimes. This is the reason why nobody seems to have been truly offended that parts of it were set on fire by the protesting police officers. This act may only have brought them closer to the “people of the 25th of January Revolution”.