A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Two Years Since the "Battle" of Mohamed Mahmoud

Today marks the second anniversary of the "Battle" of Mohamed Mahmoud Street in Cairo, one of the bloodiest days in the post-Revolutionary period of SCAF rule, with 47 dead, plus many lost the sight of one or both eyes from being targeted with teargas canisters. Today's anniversary was marked by demonstrations and counter-demonstrations by three competing groups: young revolutionaries versus pro-military versus pro-Morsi demonstrators, though nothing like the carnage of two years ago seems to have occurred (though one person reportedly died): reports here and here.

Mohamed Mahmoud runs out of Tahrir Square's southern side, and runs to ‘Abdin Palace. In the process it passes the Interior Ministry, which ran the hated State Security forces (now renamed National Security); the demonstrators were trying to march to the Interior Ministry.

The November 19 clash brought about a revival of revolutionary fervor and became iconic. It became a continuing center for protests, clashes, and eventually, famous graffiti.

As I have noted more than once on this blog, I lived for a year at the corner of Mohamed Mahmoud and Yusuf al-Gindi streets, across from the old AUC campus and a block from Tahrir; though much changed since then, this was my old neighborhood.

Yesterday, on the eve of the anniversary. demonstrators occupied and partly destroyed (the headline says "defiled" but they seem to have done rather more) a monument being built in the heart of Tahrir Square to the martyrs of the revolution; the young revolutionaries see it as an attempt by the military to co-opt and arrogate to itself the credit for the revolution.

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