The running joke here is that there's never a dull day in Egypt. Often it involves terrifying highways or the hilarity that can ensue when simple jobs or task go awry. Like cafes that have no hot water.
Lately, however, the excitement has mixed with frustration, resulting in a week of tumultuous politics.
The Constituent Assembly, which had been given an extra two months by President Mohamed Morsi to draft the Constitution, announced yesterday they had voted on and approved a final draft. Many groups were angered by this, claiming that since the more liberal groups as well as Christians had left the drafting, the document lacked sufficient input. Understandably, this led for groups to call for change (or a second revolution). Morsi aired pre-recored remarks last night to stress the temporary nature of his new powers. This seemed to do little to quell the unrest.
Typically, Friday (the day of prayer) is when the crowds gather in the square to protest. Today was no exception.
Amru, the local photographer celebrity, got us onto the roof overlooking the entire square. Al Jazeera allegedly pays 4,000 LE ($700)/day to use this area. We paid 50 LE ($8). It gave us an unreal view of the protests unfolding. Seeing it from above just puts into perspective how many people show up. The shots below have tens of thousands, but after we had to leave the roof, it ended up close to 100,000.
One of my favourite parts of protests in Tahrir (other than the incredible energy) is the smell. Vendors push around carts of sweet potatoes and corn roasting over charcoals. The woody, smoky smell curls up over their carts and wafts around the square.
The smells mix with the never-ending chants for Morsi to step down, the sun starts to set, and the feeling drifting over the crowds is just amazing.
As my favourite cab driver ever, Mohamed, remarked on Thursday evening:
"The people won't let Morsi say and do these things and get away with it."
This seems to be the general theme of the protests. Until Morsi scales back his new powers and a new constitution that is made up of all groups in Egypt, the square won't be empty for a long time.