The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

How it all started

I think my friends Levinson and Coker at WSJ have written the best piece on how the January 25 protests were organized published thus far, continuing the Journal's excellent coverage of the events in Egypt. Rupert Murdoch does not deserve them!

The Secret Rally That Sparked an Uprising -

In early January, this core of planners decided they would try to replicate the accomplishments of the protesters in Tunisia who ultimately ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Their immediate concern was how to foil the Ministry of Interior, whose legions of riot police had contained and quashed protests for years. The police were expert at preventing demonstrations from growing or moving through the streets, and at keeping ordinary Egyptians away.

"We had to find a way to prevent security from making their cordon and stopping us," said 41-year-old architect Basem Kamel, a member of Mohamed ElBaradei's youth wing and one of the dozen or so plotters.

Read the whole thing, it's fantastic.