Amman, Jordan — The decision to leave Egypt wasn’t easy on me, but I was out of options. Feeling alone, broke, beaten up, and lonely in a country I can’t predict anymore made me feel uncertain about the future. This revolution has been a life-altering event to each one of the people witnessing it, and I’m no exception.
Cairo — I won’t lie to you. I was scared yesterday. I got in a fight with a group of passersby in one of the poorest neighborhood in Cairo. The people thought I was reporting for Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-based news channel that has been the target of major government propaganda over the last few days. People were pulling me from my clothes, hitting me on my back and dragging me to the floor until I was saved by a reasonable police officer who pretended to arrest me and my friends to calm the crowds.
Cairo — As I write this story, I am in my room overlooking the main square of Cairo, ironically called Tahrir Square, which means Liberty in Arabic. The square is buzzing with what news agencies estimate is as much as half a million protesters, chanting together. People want to overthrow the president.
Egyptian people took to the streets demanding the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, their president for the last 30 years. The demonstrations, which started five days ago, are becoming life-altering events to those witnessing it from the ground.
UPDATE 35: Sun Jan 30, 10:29am EST: … In a shocking development, the former director of the Egyptian Museum, Wafaa el-Saddik, in an interview published on German publication Zeit Online has said that the individuals responsible for the looting at the National Museum included the institution’s own guards, the fire danger at the NDP headquarters is now over after two days, and the most shocking revelation that the Memphis Museum in Memphis, Egypt, has been completely looted.
The Smithsonian’s Board of Regents, the highest administrative body of the organization, will be meeting on Monday January 31st with Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough to discuss his decision to censor David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in My Belly” from the National Portrait Gallery’s Hide/Seek exhibition. An anti-censorship protest will be held at 1 PM outside the Smithsonian’s headquarters.
LA-based art protest group LA RAW invited artists and activists, along with supporters of free speech and free expression, to gather at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA, where Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough was to speak at the Town Hall Los Angeles public issues series, to protest against the escalating art censorship from the Smithsonian to LA MoCA. [LA Raw blog]