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Live blog Feb 1 - Egypt protests

From our headquarters in Doha, we keep you updated on all things Egypt, with reporting from Al Jazeera staff in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez.
Last modified: 1 Feb 2011 01:24

From our headquarters in Doha, we keep you updated on all things Egypt, with reporting from Al Jazeera staff in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez.  Live Blog: Jan28 - Jan29 - Jan30 - Jan31 - Feb1 - Feb2 - Feb3

The Battle for Egypt - AJE Live Stream - Timeline - Photo Gallery - AJE Tweets - AJE Audio Blogs 

(All times are local in Egypt, GMT+2)

11:59pm We continue our live blogging for February 2 here.

11:43pm "Friday afternoon, we will be at the palace," protesters in Tahrir Square shout. Reports of a big march being planned after Friday prayers is being dubbed "The Friday of Departure" aimed at pushing Mubarak to quit office immediately.

11:39pm Protester tells Al Jazeera that he is disappointed by Mubarak's speech, and says that he was expecting more - people around him chant 'not enough'. Protests continue in Cairo.

11:15pm "Erhal erhal", meaning "leave leave", the crowd in Tahrir Square continue to chant after Mubarak said that he will see out his current term.

In his speech, Mubarak called for reforms to article 76 of Egyptian constitution, which makes it impossible for independents to run for president.

11:08pm Crowds do not sound pleased by Mubarak's address - protests continue in Tahrir Square. Mubarak extolled his virtues, saying he wants to pave way for new leadership.

Hosni Mubarak, who addresses you today takes pride in the long years in serving the people, and this is my home land, like all Egyptians. I defended its soil and I will die on this soil.

I will be judged by history. Homeland will live on. People will not.

11:02pm Mubarak says his "new government will be responsive to the demands of young people", perhaps indicating that he is not planning on going anywhere just yet.

11:01pm Mubarak says most Egyptians are fearful and afraid about the future.

10:57pm Hosni Mubarak speaking live on Al Jazeera English - http://aje.me/ajelive

10:50pm Egyptian state TV says that Mubarak will make a statement shortly. Crowds in Tahrir Square continue to chant protest slogans, being screened live on Al Jazeera.

10:26pm Khalid Abdel Nasser, son of the former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, joined the protest in Tahrir Square today.

10:00pm Reports of protests being held all over the world, with more being planned in the coming days. See Al Jazeera's meetups around the world here.

9:58pm Tents have been set up, fires are burning here tonight and people's morale is high - there is little sign of this crowd disappearing anytime soon.

9:25pm President Obama tells Mubarak that he should not run for another term in elections, reports The New York Times.

Al Jazeera correspondent says that if Mubarak does announce this, it will not be enough for the protesters who want him to step down.

9:12pm Activist in Tahrir Square tells Al Jazeera that people are arranging entertainment to keep them occupied during the protest - a football tournament will be starting soon.

9:01pm Reports come in that the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, will speak to the people soon.

8:50pm Al Jazeera English showing live pictures from Tahrir Square, with the anchor describing the cheers of crowds as "terrific sounds and terrific sights".

8:34pm Video taken during the day by Al Jazeera web producers in Cairo.

8:27pm Al Jazeera correspondent in Tahrir Square says that people are erecting tent, bringing in blankets, food is being distributed, either for free or at discounted prices, music is being played - so people are expecting to be here for as long as it takes.

8:08pm Creative Commons (CC) highlights the Al Jazeera CC video repository that has been fed with Egypt coverage, available for download by anyone wishing to use under the CC licenses.

8:00pm Khalid Abo al Nagga, an Egyptian actor and pro-democracy activist, spoke to Ayman Mohyeldin in Tahrir Square.

I decided to be part of this years ago when young Egyptian in twitter said that they can't live like this, they [Mubarak regime] are trying to hijack the country.
 
They cut the phone, and all form of communication so we don't get images out, what kind of government is this? They can't hijack 85 million voices, it is time for them to step down, this is what everyone want.
 
The regime needs to step down, they should go to court for all the killings. the whole regime needs to go to court for what they did to the peaceful demonstrators. From now on Egypt will never be the same.

7:40pm Reports that the tone of Egyptian TV is changing - said to sound more sympathetic to protests and has sent reporters to Tahrir Square. It is reporting "large peaceful protests, tidy protest and pro-Egypt protests".

7:32pm Have a look at our picture gallery from the protest organised in Doha in solidarity with protesters in Egypt

7:10pm A giant television screen has been set up in Tahrir Square and is screening Al Jazeera to the hundreds of thousands that are camped out there.

7:00pm Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tahrir Square says that some women and children were beginning to leave the square due to the cold, but there were lots more people streaming in and the crowd was getting louder.

6:57pm Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin reporting live from Cairo.

When the US begings to distance itself from Hosni Mubarak, then Mubarak and his government definitely have something to worry about.

6:50pm In other media reports, NPR in the US says that "Al Jazeera's profile continues to rise in US".

6:45pm Jeremy Scahill says on The Nation publication that Washington's "sudden embrace of Al Jazeera won't erase past US crimes against the network".

6:42pm Motaz Salah Al Deen, spokesman for Egypt's opposition Al Wafd Party, says a self-described "new national coalition for change" has been formed.

It is made up of the Al Wafd Party and the National Association for Change which is affiliated to opposition leader Mohammed El Baradei.

6:35pm Number of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir square revised to more than a million people. Thousands more are taking to the streets throughout Egypt, including in Alexandria and Suez.

6:27pm Following reports of looting in shops selling military clothes, the Egyptian army issues a statement warning Egyptians that there will be heavy penalties to civilians found wearing military uniforms.

5:40pm Egyptian state television, in the last hour, has aired the following segments:

  1. 1) An interview with the new prime minister to talk about the makeup and priorities of the new government.
  2. 2) A walkaround with Mahmoud Wagdy, the new interior minister, in the New Cairo neighborhood, where he promoted a new initiative, "Police Serving the People".

5:21pm Tweet from Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher:

UK to send charter aircraft to #Egypt on Wednesday to bring back Britons who wish to leave

5:16pm Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin tweets via phone from Cairo

All #Egyptian protesters I've spoken to say that they will remain in Tahrir Square as long as it takes & chant 'martyrdom or freedom' #jan25

4:54pm These are the latest pictures from Cairo's Tahrir Square where over two million people from all walks of live are protesting against Mubarak.

4:25pm Abdel Haleem Kandeel, secretary of the Kefaya Movement, an Egyptian opposition group, says that there will be no negotiations or dialogue until Mubarak leaves.

4:11pm Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's PM, says he is putting off a visit to Cairo next week, but will go once Egypt returns to normal.

4:00pm The US orders all non-emergency embassy and other US government personnel to leave Egypt. US State Department says it will continue to facilitate the evacuation of US citizens, but noted "flights may be disrupted and transport to the airport may be disrupted due to the protests".

3:50pm Al Jazeera's Malika Bilal is covering a protest in Doha where people are chanting: 'The people want a change in regime'  (Pic: http://yfrog.com/gzn9gqpj)

3:34pm: Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera's Director General, tells the Huffington Post why we should be available on American television.

3:27pm Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tahrir Square says that up to two million people are now protesting in Tahrir Square and surrounding areas – including roads and bridges nearby, which are crammed.

Army is arresting armed men believed to be ex-security personnel trying to penetrate the protestors. A car full of weapons and guns has been stopped and its occupants arrested.

2:00pm We were having some technical difficulties. This blog should be up and running from now onwards.

12:54pm Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urges Egyptian President Mubarak to meet his people's "desire for change." In a weekly speech in parliament, Erdogan described his appeal to Mubarak as "a very sincere advice, a very sincere warning." 

11:56am The latest audio report from one of our web producers in Cairo:


11:56am The latest audio report from one of our web producers in Cairo:

 

11:50am
Thousands of foreigners have fled the unrest in Egypt, boarding special flights home or to nearby Mediterranean airports, many still in shock as the chaos of last week spread to airport lounges.

"People holding tickets had difficulties getting on the plane, because the airport in Cairo is pure chaos," Tristin Hutton, a Canadian tourist, said.

11:43am One of our correspondents on Tahrir square in Cairo just tweeted this: 

"Hey hey hosni is leaving tonight" is another chant now. Everyone says if numbers big enough they'll march to Presidents Palace tonight!  

11:25am The head of Al Wafd party is to hold a press briefing in half an hour, Al Arabiya reports. Al Wafd is Egypt’s largest liberal opposition party.

10:54am
Security officials say authorities have shut down all roads and public transportation to Cairo, where tens of thousands of people are converging to demand the ouster of President Mubarak.

10:43am
Below a photo of Tahrir Square and surrounding area from one of our web producers within last 15 minutes. The crowd continues to swell. Beginning to approach 10,000, he says.  


10:28am Egyptian state TV: Thugs have broken into some store selling military uniforms to use them in some robbing and looting. The military warns anyone from illegally wearing / using military uniforms and urges people to be cautions.

10:24am TV guest from Egypt on Al Jazeera Arabic:

Thugs are trying to interrupt roads leading into Cairo to prevent protestors coming from outside from reaching the city.

10:16am One of our correspondents on Tahrir square in central Cairo just tweeted this:

Huge crowds already on Tahrir square carrying boxes of water to settle in. Everyone buoyed by news army will not stop them!

10:01am Not all Egyptians agree with the protesters -  Egyptian TV guest on Al Jazeera Arabic: I want to tell the president, we are sorry, forgive us, and may God protect you for us.

9:50am Egyptian TV presenters: Fears that today’s protest could lead to violence, insecurity, and looting like what happened on Friday. Again, they are trying to convince people not to join the protests.

9:47am  Fifty Egyptian Human Rights groups call on Mubarak to step down to save Egyptian’s blood.

9:45am An Al Jazeera web producer reports from Tahrir Square in central Cairo where protesters have gathered, calling on Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to step down. 


The footage is shot on Monday night while the voiced report is from 8:30 local time, on Tuesday morning.

9:39am Check out The Best Egypt Protest Signs From Around The World

9:31am One of our web producers at Cairo's Tahrir square just tweeted this:

Army presence still quite low around Tahrir square. No police (traffic, riot, otherwise) to be seen in the vicinity. Cell phones remain up in Cairo. As far as I know, internet remains down.

9:03am A veteran US diplomat sent to Egypt to gauge the turbulent situation there will meet with President Hosni Mubarak, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Frank Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt who knows Mubarak, landed in Cairo on Monday, and the US believed it would be "useful" for him to meet with the president directly and gets his perspective, State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley told the paper.

8:56am Unconfirmed reports coming in that a 24-hour curfew will be imposed on Thursday in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera's correspondents in Cairo says.

8:41am Egyptian state TV is airing reports about untreated health problems because of current conditions. They spoke about reports from people with emergency health conditions, such as kidney and liver disease, saying that they cannot get treatment on time because of ongoing protests.

Egyptian TV has been doing all it can to convince people to stay home and go back to their "old, stable, secure" life.

8:30am  These are the latest pictures from Cairo's Tahrir Square.

An overnight curfew has just been lifted. Protesters there are planning to march on the Presidential Palace. If the numbers we're hearing are realised, it will be the biggest effort yet in a determined campaign to drive out long-time president Hosni Mubarak.

8:16am Interesting story from ProPublica: The ‘Italian Job’ and Other Highlights From US’s Rendition Program With Egypt

Among the many aspects of the US-Egypt relationship, few have been as controversial as the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, where the agency frequently handed over suspected terrorists to foreign governments with histories of torture and illegal detention.

8:01am A steady trickle of people is walking to Tahrir square in central Cairo to participate in the “march of a million people", one of Al Jazeera's correspondents reports.

7:55am Voices from Cairo's Tahrir Square

At 1:14 the speaker to the crowd says the following:

"People everyday tune into morning TV, and they see that ordinary Egyptians are still on the streets. And that they are brave....and God willing, we'll be out here on the streets. And please know that you're not alone.The Angels are protecting you.

Are you scared?

[crowd yells NO!]

"I wanna tell you that Hosni Mubarak is afraid and terrified. The whole administration is terrified."

7:35am  Google launched a service for people in Egypt to send Twitter messages by dialing a phone number, no Internet connection needed. The following numbers are listed for people to use the service: +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855.

7:32am  Another great photo gallery of the protests in Egypt.

7:10am From Voices from Cairo's Tahrir Square

“The president is still trying to hold on and he hired the vice president, Omar Soleiman, because he’s the head of intelligence, and they’re playing games with people,” he said. “So they’re spreading rumors and scaring people … with the baltagiya [thugs].”

Khaled Hisham el-Komy (19)

7:05am Internet connections are still down in large parts of Egypt. 


6:38am Check out this Global Post slideshow that captures the faces of Egypt's women who have been participating in the protests.

6:20am  Details about the proposed rally planned for Tuesday - the so-called 'march of a million people':

Organisers have told Al Jazeera that the march will start at Tahrir Square - the focal point of the protests in Cairo. 

The marchers are expected to pass the nearby Egyptian state television building before heading north-east, towards the presidential palace.

Our correspondent says tanks and troops are stationed along the main streets towards the palace. Which means they could intervene to divert the marchers. The Egyptian Army has vowed that it will not use force against demonstrators.

6:10am The latest update from one of our correspondents reporting from the centre of Cairo:

The protesters seem to be increasingly energised this morning. They clearly are determined to get today's march stating with a big bang. The atmosphere on Tahrir Square is very good. People seem to feel that some sort of victory is the air.

5:40am According to the New York Times, White House officials have turned to Al Jazeera for coverage of events in Egypt.

With the network’s coverage of the crisis drawing praise, however, Al Jazeera executives said Monday that they planned to renew their lobbying to be carried on cable systems across the United States.

2:00am Can't access Al Jazeera English on your cable network? Don't dispair. Al Jazeera English can be accessed LIVE on our website and now on YouTube.

1:53am  Updated and collated. Audio reports from our correspondents on the ground in Cairo.

1:30am 
Audio messages from our correspondents on the ground in Cairo, all on one page Internet activists continue to search for ways to keep Egyptians online. Here is another list circulating on the internet, twenty ways to circumvent the internet block, posted by Anonymous.

1:09am keep ordinary Egyptians online. One of Al Jazeera's correspondents just tweeted: #aje crew was released & will be covering million man rally 2mrw #feb1 #Egypt #jan25 (via phone)

12:58am Google's official blog explains a new technology developed by a group of tech geeks who wanted to contribute positively to the current situation in Egypt. Read more about the new Speak2Tweet tool that allows Egyptians to send messages to Twitter from any phone line:

Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.


12:47am Here's the latest news from our site: Egypt army vows not to use force - Explicit confirmation comes before Tuesday's "march of millions" to force President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

12:15am Al Jazeera correspondents have been tweeting about the near-total media crackdown in Egypy:

"There is no internet in Egypt, none at all. Noor was last standing internet provider but it was shut down as well."

"Rumors of a coming mobile phone crackdown, which would make sense given tmrw is supposed to be a big march & police are back."