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Friday, February 18, 2011

Revolution 2.0 Timelines: Chronology Dec 2010 to Feb 2011

Wael Ghonim being hugged by the mother of revolutionary martyr Khaled Said

Summary of Middle East Revolutions and Protests 2010-2011

Chronology of Tunisia and Egypt revolutions plus Mideast and North Africa protest timelines.

Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen protest timeline chronology

Roots of Revolution: 2008-2009 Middle East protest movements

Egypt's April 6th Youth Movement

The April 6 Youth Movement started as an Egyptian Facebook group founded by Human Resources specialist Isra’a Abdel Fattah, 29, and civil engineer Ahmed Maher, 30, in spring 2008 to support the April 6 workers strike in el-Mahalla el-Kobra, an industrial town along the Nile Delta.

On their Facebook page, they encouraged thousands to protest and join the labor strike. Within weeks, over 100,000 members joined the group, who were predominantly young, educated, and politically inexperienced or inactive. Moreover, by making extensive use of online networking tools, they urged their members to demonstrate their support for the workers by wearing black, staying at home, or boycotting products on the day of the strike.

As the secret police cracked down on the April 6 labor strikers, both Abdel Fattah and Maher were arrested, tortured (in the case of Maher, threatened with rape), and detained for a few weeks. Both came out of the prison experience more committed to the cause of freedom and democracy, as well as more determined than ever to carry on with their program of political reforms.

Iran 2009; First attempt at a Twitter revolution

Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009. The protests were given several titles by their proponents including Green Revolution, Green Wave or Sea of Green, reflecting presidential candidate Mousavi's campaign color, and also Persian Awakening.

The events have also been nicknamed the "Twitter Revolution" because of the protesters' reliance on Twitter and other social-networking Internet sites to communicate with each other.

Islamic politician Ata'ollah Mohajerani blasted the election as "the end of the Islamic Republic". In response to the protests, other groups rallied in Tehran to support Ahmadinejad.

All three opposition candidates claimed that the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged, and candidates Mohsen Rezaee and Mousavi have lodged official complaints. Mousavi announced that he "won't surrender to this manipulation" before lodging an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on June 14.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared the unprecedented voter turnout and coinciding religious holidays as a "divine assessment" and urged the nation to unite, but later ostensibly ordered an investigation into the claims of voting fraud and irregularities as per the request of the Green movement leaders.

Mousavi is not optimistic about his appeal, saying that many of the group's members "during the election were not impartial". Ahmadinejad called the election "completely free" and the outcome "a great victory" for Iran, dismissing the protests as little more than "passions after a soccer match".

Police and the Basij, a paramilitary group suppressed both peaceful demonstrating and rioting using batons, pepper spray, sticks and, in some cases, firearms. The Iranian government has confirmed the deaths of 36 people during the protests, while unconfirmed reports by supporters of Mousavi allege that there have been 72 deaths (twice as many) in the three months following the disputed election.

Iranian authorities have closed universities in Tehran, blocked web sites, blocked cell phone transmissions and text messaging, and banned rallies.

Egypt's April 6th Movement grows stronger in 2009 and 2010

Asma’a Mahfouz, 26, a petite Business Administration graduate, is another prominent figure in the April 6 Youth Movement. By her account she did not have any political training or ideology before joining the group in March 2008. With her two colleagues she immediately helped set up the Facebook page urging Egyptians to support and join the strikes.

Asma'a Mahfouz, spokesperson for Egypt's April 6th Youth Movement

More significantly, Mahfouz played a critical role in the mobilization efforts for the current popular revolution. She posted passionate daily online videos imploring her countrymen and women to participate in the protests. In a recent interview, she elucidated her role when she stated, “I was printing and distributing leaflets in popular areas, and calling for citizens to participate. In those areas, I also talked to young people about their rights, and the need for their participation.”

She continued, “At the time when many people were setting themselves on fire, I went into Tahrir Square with several members of the movement, and we tried a spontaneous demonstration to protest against the recurrence of these incidents. However, the security forces prevented us and removed us from the Square. This prompted me to film a video clip, featuring my voice and image, calling for a protest.”

“I said that on the 25th of January, I would be an Egyptian girl defending her dignity and her rights. I broadcasted the video on the Internet, via Facebook, and was surprised by its unprecedented distribution over websites and mobile phones. Subsequently, I made four further videos prior to the date of the protest,” she added.

If Maher is the movement’s national coordinator, Muhammad Adel, 22, a college junior majoring in computer science, is its technology wizard and media coordinator. Online he jokingly calls himself “The dead Dean,” in a reference to his young age and what could be in store for him from the secret police.

In November 2008, he was arrested at the age of twenty, detained and placed in solitary confinement for over 100 days because of his political activities on the Internet. He was denied any means of communications with his family during the whole period. His interrogators pleaded with him to stop blogging so he could be freed. He refused to give them any commitment until he was freed in March 2009.

According to the “April 6 Youth” movement’s platform, its main concerns include promoting political reforms and democratic governance through a strategy of non-violence; constitutional reforms in the areas of civil rights, political freedoms, and judicial independence; and economically addressing poverty, unemployment, social justice and fighting corruption. Their focus is primarily the youth and students. Their means of communications, education and mobilization relies on the extensive use of technology and the Internet.

We Are All Khaled Said - Facebook page sparks Revolution 2.0

June 6, 2010 - Khaled Said (also translated Khaled Mohamed Saeed) was a young Egyptian man who died under disputed circumstances in the Sidi Gaber area of Alexandria on June 6, 2010, after being arrested by Egyptian police. Photos of his disfigured corpse spread throughout online communities and incited outrage over allegations that he was beaten to death by Egyptian security forces. A prominent Facebook group, "We are all Khaled Said", brought attention to his death and contributed to growing discontent in the weeks leading up to the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

It was revealed in February of 2011 that the admin behind the We Are All Khaled Said, the previously anonymous ElShaheed, was in fact Google's Head of Marketing for North Africa and the Middle East, Wael Ghonim. Mr. Ghonim rose to hero status after being released from detention and giving an eloquent and passionate interview on Egypt's Dream TV.

We Are All Khaled Said, Facebook page links photos

December 17, 2010 - Tunisia: 26-year-old computer-science graduate and fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire after policewoman slaps him and orders him to pack up his street cart in Sidi Bouzid. It was the last straw to add to his list of grievances (including not finding employment after graduation and having to resort to selling fruit to support his seven siblings).

Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old man trying to support his family by selling fruits and vegetables in the central town of Sidi Bouzid, douses himself in paint thinner and sets himself on fire in front of a local municipal office.

Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia

Police had confiscated his produce cart because he lacked a permit and beat him up when he resisted. Local officials then refused his hear his complaint. He is taken to a hospital near Tunis for treatment of his third-degree burns.

Bouazizi's act of desperation highlights the public's boiling frustration over living standards, police violence, rampant unemployment, and a lack of human rights. The protests begin in Sidi Bouzid that same day. They quickly spread across the region, then the country.

December 20: Mohamed Al Nouri Al Juwayni , the Tunisian development minister, travels to Sidi Bouzid to announce a new $10 million employment programme. Protests continue unabated.

December 22: Houcine Falhi, a 22-year-old, commits suicide by electrocuting himself in the midst of another demonstration over unemployment in Sidi Bouzid after shouting "No to misery, no to unemployment!"

Mohamed Ammari

December 24: Mohamed Ammari, an 18-year-old protester, is shot and killed by police during violent demonstrations in the central town of Menzel Bouzaiene.

Chawki Belhoussine El Hadri , a 44-year-old man, is among those shot by police at the same protest.

Hundreds of protesters rally in front of the Tunisian labour union headquarters over rampant unemployment, clashing with Tunisian security forces in the central towns of al-Ragab and Miknassi. Skirmishes break out when security forces stage overnight crackdown campaigns.

Protests break out in Sidi Bouzid and spread to Menzel Bouzaiene, Kairouan, Sfax, Ben Guerdane, Sousse. Police fire on demonstrators.

December 25: Rallies spread to Kairouan, Sfax and Ben Guerdane.

An interior ministry spokesperson says police were forced to "shoot in self-defence" after warning shots failed to disperse scores of protesters who were setting police cars and buildings ablaze.

December 27: Police and demonstrators scuffle as 1,000 Tunisians hold a rally in Tunis, the capital, calling for jobs in a show of solidarity with those protesting in poorer regions. Demonstrations also break out in Sousse.

The protests spread to Tunis, the nation's capital. Over 1,000 people take to the streets. The protests are kept afloat via social media (similar to Iran's Green Revolution, the protests were organized through Twitter and Facebook).

December 28, 2010 - Ben Ali condemns protests and warns that those using violence will be punished (as if years under his rule weren't punishment enough...)

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country's president, warns in a national television broadcast that protests are unacceptable and will have a negative impact on the economy. Ben Ali criticises the "use of violence in the streets by a minority of extremists" and says the law will be applied "in all firmness" to punish protesters.

The Tunisian Federation of Labour Unions holds another rally in Gafsa province, which is squashed by security forces.

At the same time, about 300 lawyers hold a rally near the government's palace in Tunis in solidarity with protesters. Lawyers march in several other cities as well.

The governors of Sidi Bouzid, Jendouba, and Zaghouan provinces are dismissed for unspecified reasons related to the uprising, according to the Pana news agency.

The Tunisian ministers of communication, trade and handicrafts, and religious affairs are all sacked for reasons related to the uprising, the Arabiya news channel reports.

Abderrahman Ayedi, a prominent Tunisian lawyer, is allegedly tortured by police after they arrest him for protesting.

December 29: Security forces peacefully break up a demonstration in the northeastern city of Monastir but allegedly use violence in the town of Sbikha. There are also reports of police brutality in the town of Chebba, where one protester is hospitalised.

Nessma TV, a private news channel, becomes the first major Tunisian media outlet to cover the protests, after 12 days of demonstrations.

December 29, 2010 – Police clash with protesters in Algeria. Widespread protests, demonstrations and riots rock Algeria from January 3 to January 10. This unrest occurs in nearly all of the cities and towns of Algeria. Tensions were somewhat alleviated when the government cut taxes and duties on sugar and cooking oil.

December 30: Chawki Belhoussine El Hadri, shot by police six days prior, dies of his injuries.

France's Socialist Party, the main opposition, condemns the "brutal repression" of the protesters, calling for lawyers and demonstrators to be released.

December 31: Lawyers across Tunisia respond to a call to assemble in protest over the arrested lawyers and in solidarity with the people of Sidi Bouzid.

Authorities react to the protests with force, and lawyers tell Al Jazeera they were "savagely beaten".

January 2: The hacktivist group "Anonymous" announces Operation Tunisia in solidarity with the protests by striking a number of Tunisian government websites with "direct denial of service" attacks, flooding them with traffic and temporarily shutting them down.

Several online activists report on Twitter that their email and Facebook accounts were hacked.

January 3: About 250 demonstrators, mostly students, stage a peaceful march in the city of Thala. The protest turns violent after police try to stop it by firing tear gas canisters.

At least nine protesters are reportedly injured. In response, protesters set fire to tyres and attack the local offices of the ruling party.

January 4: The Tunisian Bar Association announces a general strike to be staged on January 6 in protest over attacks by security forces against its members.

Tunisia - Bouazizi died of his burns, after which his funeral added momentum to protests against unemployment and repression. The protests spread to other parts of the country.

January 5: Mohamed Bouazizi, who launched the uprising by setting himself on fire two and a half weeks earlier, dies of self-inflicted burns. A funeral is later held for him in Sidi Bouzid, his hometown.

January 6: Reports suggest that 95 per cent of Tunisia's 8,000 lawyers launch a strike, demanding an end to police brutality against peaceful protesters.

January 7: Authorities arrest a group of bloggers, journalists, activists and a rap singer in a crackdown on dissent. Some of them reportedly go missing.

January 8: At least six protesters are reportedly killed and six others wounded in clashes with police in Tala, a provincial town near the border with Algeria. Another three people were killed in similar clashes in the Kasserine region.

In Tala, witnesses said police fired their weapons after using water cannons to try to disperse a crowd which had set fire to a government building. The crowd has also thrown stones and petrol bombs at police.

January 9: Two protesters, Chihab Alibi and Youssef Fitouri, are shot dead by police in Miknassi, according to the SBZ news agency.

January 13: The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights tallies 66 deaths since the protests began, and sources tell Al Jazeera that at least 13 people were killed in the previous two days. The government's official toll stands at 23, after three and a half weeks of clashes.

Later, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia's president, makes a televised address, announcing unprecedented concessions and vowing not to seek re-election in 2014. He pledges to introduce more freedoms into society, institute widespread reforms and investigate the killings of protesters during demonstrations. Formerly blocked or banned websites reportedly become accessible.

Tunisia: 66 deaths, if not more, are reported since protests began. Government estimates only 23. President Ben Ali pledges major reforms and says he will not stand for re-election in 2014.

January 14, 2011 - A state of emergency is declared in the country. Ben Ali dissolves parliament and promises to hold legislative elections within six months. That same evening, he steps off his tainted "throne" and flees to Saudi Arabia.

Ben Ali imposes a state of emergency and fires the country's government amid violent clashes between protesters and security forces. He promises fresh legislative elections within six months in an attempt to quell mass dissent.

State media reports that gatherings of more than three people have been banned and "arms will be used if orders of security forces are not heeded."

That night, reports fly that the army has seized control of Tunisia's main airport and closed the country's airspace. Though members of his extended family are reportedly arrested, Ben Ali manages to leave country by plane.

Mohammed Ghannouchi, the prime minister, appears on state television to announce that he is assuming the role of interim president under chapter 56 of the Tunisian constitution.

Ben Ali reportedly flies first toward Malta, then Paris, before finally turning around toward the Gulf, where he lands in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. French media report that Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, refused to allow Ben Ali to land in his country.

Protests in major cities in Jordan prompt the government to postpone a rise in fuel prices. Mostly peaceful protests, including 5,000 people showing up in Amman to protest government policies on January 21, 2011.

January 15: Saudi Arabia officially announces that it is hosting Ben Ali and his family for an unspecified period of time.

The constitutional court, Tunisia's highest legal authority on constitutional issues, rules that Fouad Mebazaa, the speaker of parliament, should be interim president, not Ghannouchi. Mebazaa tasks Ghannouchi with forming a new coalition government.

The power vacuum left by the departure of Ben Ali is exploited by looters and violent gangs, who ransack grocery stores and expensive manors belonging to the old regime, witnesses say.

Residents in several parts of Tunis say that groups were prowling through neighbourhoods at night setting fire to buildings and attacking people and property, with no police in sight.

Tunisia Speaker of Parliament Foued Mebazaa is sworn in as temporary president and begins discussions with opposition parties on the formation of a new government.

January 16: Tension and uncertainty grip Tunisia as military forces attempt to restore order.

Imed Trabelsi, a nephew of Ben Ali's wife, reportedly dies in a military hospital in Tunis. He would have been the first person in the president's extended family to have died as a result of the uprising, but the Reuters news agency later reports on January 21 that Trabelsi has actually been arrested.

Salim Shayboub, Ben Ali's son-in-law, is also reportedly arrested.

Rafik Belhaj, Tunisia's former interior minister and the man many held responsible for a police crackdown on protesters, is arrested and held in his home town of Beja in the north of the country.

WikiLeaks releases a four-part series of US diplomatic cables that shows the United States knew about the extent of corruption and discontent in Tunisia and chose to support Ben Ali regardless.

January 17: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says he regrets the fall of Ben Ali, which has left the country in "chaos with no end in sight."

Tunisia's prime minister promises to announce a new coalition government, hoping to maintain the momentum of political progress to ward off fresh protests and also undercut gunmen loyal to the ousted president.

Ghannouchi also announces widespread reforms, promising press freedom, the lifting of a ban on human rights groups operating in Tunisia, and the release of political prisoners.

A new government is announced, but includes several Ben Ali loyalists in key posts - including the defence, interior and foreign ministers - and few opposition members in lesser positions.

Exiled opposition leaders cry foul, saying they've been sidelined in the new "unity" government, which favours members of the old guard.

January 18 2011 - Online video heroine Asma'a Mahfouz emerges, calls citizens to protest

January 18: Unhappy with the lineup of the new government, Tunisians take to the streets in protest.

Anouar Ben Gueddour, the junior minister for transportation, resigns from the newly formed cabinet, as do Houssine Dimassi, minister of training and employment, and Abdeljelil Bedoui, a minister dealing with prime ministerial affairs. They are all members of a general national labour union.

Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the newly appointed health minister, says he is suspending his participation in the cabinet.

Other opposition ministers threaten to quit, saying they do not want to be in a government with members of Ben Ali's former ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD).

Ghannouchi and Mebazaa resign from the RCD in a bid to placate protesters.

On January 18th 2011 a video that changed the world was uploaded by Asma'a Mahfouz, for in it the young Egyptian urged her countrymen to take to the streets to protest the injustice. Take a look:

Sporadic protests across Yemen from January 18 to January 20 over the government’s proposal to modify the constitution. Riots break out in Aden leading to conflicts between soldiers and protesters.

January 19: The Swiss government orders a freeze on all funds held by Ben Ali in Switzerland, Micheline Calmy-Rey, the country's foreign minister said.

At the same time, prosecutors in Tunisia open an inquiry into the assets of Ben Ali and his extended family, the official TAP news agency reported.

Speaking to Al Jazeera in his first public remarks since the uprising, Gordon Gray, the US ambassador to Tunisia, calls the movement a "work in progress" and a "new phenomenon."

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the United Nations plans to send a team of human rights officials to Tunisia to look into weeks of violence and advise the new coalition government.

January 20: All ministers in the interim government quit Ben Ali's RCD party but remain in their cabinet posts. The central committee of RCD is dissolved, as many of the ministers were also committee members.

January 21: The first of a three-day period of national mourning sees protesters gather peacefully throughout the day in Tunis.

They demand the dissolution of the new government as they honour those who who died in the unrest of previous weeks.

In an effort to dampen the anger, Ghannouchi pledges to quit politics after legislative and presidential elections that he says will be held as soon as possible.

January 22: Thousands of protesters take to the streets yet again, continuing to ask for the removal of all RCD members from the interim government.

Around 2,000 police officers join the civilian protesters, calling for better working conditions and a new union and complaining about their association with Ben Ali's repressive regime.

Protesters break through barricades at the prime minister's office, but no violence is reported.

The army and the justice department are ordered to preserve any documents and evidence that can be gathered so the old government can be implicated throughout the investigation.

Rachid al-Ghannouchi, the leader of the formerly banned Islamist al-Nahda (Reinaissance) party and no relation to the prime minister, is still not allowed to return to Tunisia until a 1991 prison sentence is lifted.

Tunisia - Protesters again demand that Ghannouchi and other Ben Ali protégés go. Policemen, once the bulwark of Ben Ali's rule, demonstrate in Tunis, saying they too were victims.

ALGERIA -- At least 42 people were injured during clashes between protesters, who were defying a government ban, and Algerian police, who blocked a march on the country’s parliament building.

January 23: As the third and final day of national mourning begins, protesters are again expected to take to the streets, after former RCD government ministers showed no signs of resigning.

Hundreds of Tunisians defy a nighttime curfew and travel hundreds of kilometres in what they call a "Liberation caravan" to join protesters in the country's capital, where anger at the interim government continues to grow.

The country's state news agency reports that allies of Ben Ali - Abdelaziz bin Dhia, Ben Ali's spokesman and chief adviser, and Abdallah Qallal, a former interior minister and head of Tunisia's appointed upper parliamentary house - have been placed under house arrest.

The agency also reports that police are searching for Abdelwahhab Abdalla, Ben Ali's political adviser, who has disappeared and that Larbi Nasra, the owner of Hannibal TV and his son have been arrested on suspicion of "treason" for working on Ben Ali's return from Saudi Arabia (where the deposed president currently is currently in exile).

Nasra, the agency reports, is related to Ben Ali's wife, Leila, and is accused of "using the channel to ... create a constitutional vacuum, ruin stability and take the country into a vortex of violence that will bring back the dictatorship of the former president."

Yemen - Hundreds of students and activists gathered at Yemen’s Sanaa University, most of whom were calling for Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. The smaller group of protesters called for the president to stay.

Egypt - Younger members of Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood indicated that they would participate in the January 25 protests.

January 24: Politicians are negotiating the creation of a council to oversee the interim government. Its task would be to protect the "Jasmine" revolution that toppled Ben Ali.

Tunisia - Politicians began negotiations on the creation of a council to oversee the interim government. Its task would be to protect the "Jasmine" revolution that toppled Ben Ali.

Tuesday, Jan. 25 - Egypt: Dubbed the "Day of Rage," this was the first large-scale protest organized by young Egyptians who were inspired by a popular uprising in Tunisia. It began peacefully, but turned violent when police used tear gas and water hoses to disperse crowds in downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square.

On a national holiday to commemorate the police forces, Egyptians take to the streets in large numbers, calling it a "day of rage". Thousands march in downtown Cairo, heading towards the offices of the ruling National Democratic Party, as well as the foreign ministry and the state television. Similar protests are reported in other towns across the country.

After a few hours of relative calm, police and demonstrators clash; police fired tear gas and use water cannons against demonstrators crying out "Down with Mubarak'' in Cairo's main Tahrir Square.

Protests break out in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the Nile Delta cities of Mansura and Tanta and in the southern cities of Aswan and Assiut, witnesses say.

Hours after the countrywide protests began, the interior ministry issues a statement blaming the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's technically banned but largest opposition party, for fomenting the unrest - a claim that the Muslim Brotherhood denies.

Egypt protest organisers heavily relied on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

Egypt's interior minister says three protesters and a police officer have been killed during the anti-government demonstrations.

Known more literally as the "Day of Anger" (Arabic: يوم الغضب‎ yaum al-ġaḍab, Egyptian Arabic: [ˈjoːm elˈɣɑdɑb]) or the "Day of Revolt", protests took place in cities across Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Ismaïlia. The day was selected as such by the 6 April Youth Movement, We Are All Khaled Said Movement, National Association for Change, 25 January Movement and Kefaya to coincide with National Police Day. Thousands protested in Cairo, with 15,000 occupying Tahrir Square, 20,000 in various locations across Alexandria, 200 demonstrators in the southern city of Aswan, 2,000 in the eastern city of Ismaïlia, and about 3,000 in the northern city of El-Mahalla El-Kubra.

Paramilitary riot police of the Central Security Forces; 20,000 to 30,000 police were deployed in central Cairo.

Cairo protesters had gathered in the morning in front of the High Court in the centre of Cairo. The demonstration was larger than expected and able to break the security cordon and head to Tahrir Square. Police used tear gas and water cannons against the protesters, who in turn threw stones at police, eventually forcing them to retreat.[64] Deadly clashes broke out during the protests. A policeman was reported to have died in Cairo, while in Suez two protesters were killed.[64] It was reported that many police had also been restrained in their use of violence.

26 January - On 26 January riots continued, with protesters numbering in the thousands, although no accurate estimate has yet been made. There was increased use of violence from both protesters and the police, with one protester and one police official killed in Cairo.[70] Suez experienced a dramatic uprising; many protesters were fired upon with live ammunition, and both protesters and police were beaten. Protesters in Suez also managed to set fire to several government buildings, including the police station

A protester and a police officer are killed in central Cairo as anti-government demonstrators pelt security forces with rocks and firebombs for a second day, according to witnesses. Police use tear gas, water cannons and batons to disperse protesters in Cairo. Witnesses say that live ammunition was also fired into the air.

In Suez, the scene of bloody clashes the previous day, police and protesters clash again. Medical personnel in Suez say that 55 protesters and 15 police officers have been injured.

Robert Gibbs, a spokesman for Barack Obama, the US president, tell reporters that the government should "demonstrate its responsiveness to the people of Egypt" by recognising their "universal rights".

Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, says he believes "the Arab citizen is angry, is frustrated".

Egypt: Despite a government order against further protests, small-scale gatherings continued, along with sporadic clashes between police and demonstrators. Hundreds of protesters were arrested, and opposition groups began to coalesce. Egypt's stock market plunged as investors panicked over the unrest.

Clashes break out near government offices in the old city, or casbah, where riot police fire teargas at hundreds of demonstrators.

The Tunisian General Labour Union holds a general strike in Sfax, Tunisia's second city and economic centre, and thousands demand that the government resign.

Tunisia has asked Interpol to help arrest ousted president Ben Ali and his family so they can be tried for theft and currency offences, the nation's interim justice minister said.

In Cairo, Google executive and Arab Internet pioneer Wael Ghonim arrested by Egyptian plainclothes police near Tahrir Square.

Wael Ghonim page on Wikipedia

Tunisia - Tunisia asked Interpol to help arrest Ben Ali and his family so they can be tried for theft and currency offences, the justice minister said.

January 27: Tunisia's foreign minister, Kamel Morjane, announces his resignation. The prime minister later announces a reshuffle of the cabinet, dropping key ministers from the criticised government of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Egypt: Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, the former U.N. nuclear watchdog, returned to his native Egypt to take a leadership role in the protest movement. Mubarak's ruling party announced it would open talks with opposition groups, but offered no concessions. Rallies in Cairo and other cities turned deadly. That night, the government shut down Internet service. Access to Twitter and opposition news sites was shut down throughout the country.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog turned democracy advocate, arrives in Egypt to join the protests. ElBaradei says he is ready to "lead the transition" in Egypt if asked.

Meanwhile, protests continue across several cities. Hundreds have been arrested, but the protesters say they will not give up until their demand is met.

Protesters clash with police in Cairo neighbourhoods. Violence also erupts in the city of Suez again, while in the northern Sinai area of Sheikh Zuweid, several hundred bedouins and police exchange live gunfire, killing a 17-year-old man.

In Ismailia, hundreds of protesters clash with police.

Lawyers stage protests in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta town of Toukh, north of Cairo.

Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger services are disrupted.

“The people have broken the barrier of fear. There is no going back.”

Mohammed El Baradei

Protests were not as large on 27 January as preparations were made for planned large-scale events on the following day (Friday). The Muslim Brotherhood declared full support for the protests, and members planned to take part during Friday's demonstrations.[74] Reformer and leader of the National Association for Change Mohamed ElBaradei returned on that day at Cairo International Airport to join the planned protests on the next day.

Later in the day a protester of Bedouin descent was shot dead by police in the town of Sheikh Zoweid in the North Sinai region, bringing the death toll to seven. In Suez, the uprising continued and violence increased as more buildings were set on fire, including police posts. The population of Suez and the Sinai region armed themselves with guns leading to violent revolts by protesters.

Hundreds of people were arrested at the various protests across Egypt. More than 120 people were arrested in Asyut, most of whom were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and about another 600 people were arrested in Cairo, including 8 Egyptian journalists protesting against the government's reported restrictions on domestic and Middle Eastern affairs.

Egypt - ElBaradei returned to Egypt from his home in Vienna calling on Mubarak to quit.

Yemen - Tens of thousands of protesters marched on the capital against President Saleh.

28 January – Friday of Anger

Thousands filled the streets across Egypt on Friday 28 January, called by some the "Friday of Anger" (Arabic: جمعة الغضب‎, IPA: [ˈgomʕet elˈɣɑdɑb]) and by others as the "Day of Rage". Shortly before 1:00, hours ahead of the expected massive anti-government protests, the Egyptian government shut down internet services, although some people were still able to communicate using alternative means.

Text messaging and mobile phone services also appeared to be blocked. According to Vodafone, all mobile phone operators in Egypt were instructed to suspend services in selected areas. Under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and the operators are obliged to comply.

Shortly after Friday prayers, tens of thousands of Egyptians began the protests, and within hours the number rose to the hundreds of thousands. Potential presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei traveled from Giza, where he had been leading protests, to Cairo, where he was arrested at an anti-government rally and placed under house arrest, although ElBaradei told Al Jazeera that he was unaware of his house arrest.

An Al Jazeera report on the protests (in English)

Throughout the day, police fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons into crowds during violent clashes between authorities and anti-government protesters in Cairo, Alexandria, and throughout Egypt. Thousands in Suez stormed and took control of a police station, freed all of the protesters held under arrest there and then torched up a nearby smaller local police post. In Port Said tens of thousands of protesters gathered and multiple government buildings were set ablaze. In Suez, police shot and killed at least one man taking part in the protests. The government issued a 18:00 to 7:00 the next day curfew, but protesters ignored it and were met by police. In the evening, protesters set fire to one of the National Democratic Party (NDP) headquarters buildings in Cairo. While protesters paused for evening prayers, police continued firing tear gas.

The Egyptian government deployed military in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez to assist the police. Al Jazeera reported that in Suez the military wanted to avoid an open armed confrontation with protesters. The same was reported in Alexandria.
Protestors gathered in front of the l-Istiqama Mosque in Giza. Rebels and riot police fought in parts of Giza, including at the mosque.

A delegation led by the chief of staff of Egypt's armed forces, Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan, was in Washington, D.C., when the visit was truncated due to the protests. The sessions, an annual country-to-country military coordination, were being led for the U.S. by Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow. A meeting with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other talks had been planned to extend to 2 February. However, in light of events in Egypt, the delegation left Washington to return home.[103] Before their departure Friday night, Vershbow urged the two dozen representatives of the largely American-funded Egyptian military "to exercise 'restraint'".

Protesters marching in Cairo

Al Jazeera reported an Associated Press claim that an elite counterterrorism force that had been deployed at strategic points around Cairo, and that Egypt's interior ministry was warning of "decisive measures". The secretary-general of the ruling National Democratic Party, Safwat Sherif, held a press conference stating, "We hope that tomorrow's Friday prayers and its rituals happen in a quiet way that upholds the value of such rituals ... and that no one jeopardises the safety of citizens or subjects them to something they do not want."

Amid reports of looting of government buildings, concerns were raised about the safety of the antiquities of the famous Egyptian Museum, near the epicenter of the protests in Cairo. Egyptian state TV announced in the evening that army commandos had secured the museum.

Protesters joined soldiers in protecting the Egyptian Museum, situated beside the burning ruling party headquarters. Looters managed to enter during the night from the roof to damage a number of small artifacts, and it was initially reported that they had ripped the heads off two mummies, but subsequent reports claimed that Egypt's top archaeologist had mistaken skulls from other skeletons, and that the mummies were intact.

The detention of ElBaradei prompted the U.S. to review its $1.5 billion aid package for Egypt; he was later released. The day's defiance was summed up by the plethora of Tunisian national flags and anti-Mubarak graffiti that the protesters had created in the Greater Cairo region, Alexandria, Beni Suef, Mansoura and Manufiya. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood said that twenty members of the banned group had been detained overnight, including Essam El-Erian, its main spokesman, and Mohammed Moursi, one of the its leaders.

January 28: Internet and mobile phone text message users in Egypt report major disruption to services as the country prepared for a new wave of protests after Friday prayers.

The Associated Press news agency says an elite special counterterrorism force has been deployed at strategic points around Cairo in the hours before the planned protests.

Egypt's interior ministry also warns of "decisive measures".

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the opposition Muslim Brotherhood says that 20 members of the officially banned group have been detained overnight.

Egypt remains on edge, as police and protesters clash throughout the country.

Eleven civilians get killed in Suez and 170 injured. No deaths were reported in Cairo. At least 1,030 people get injured countrywide.

The riots continue throughout the night, even as Mubarak announces that he dismisses his government. Mubarak himself refuses to step down. His whereabouts are unknown.

Friday, Jan. 28 - Egypt: Cell phone service was cut throughout Egypt to stop protesters from organizing rallies after midday prayers. Peaceful protests turned into violent riots across Egypt as huge crowds overwhelmed the police, torched police stations and freed prisoners. The Cairo headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party was looted and burned. The government imposed a 6 p.m. curfew in major cities. Mubarak made a late-night speech saying he'd appoint a new Cabinet.

EGYPT -- ElBaradei, who is later placed under house arrest, and his supporters were attacked by security forces after Friday prayers. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged both the Egyptian government and protesters to show restraint. The protesters ignored a government-imposed curfew. The government cut Internet connections in the country. Late in the day, Mubarak announced he would fire his government and bring on a new Cabinet to try to meet the nation's cry for change. Following Mubarak's announcement, President Obama spoke with Mubarak on the phone and delivered his own statement, calling for protesters and the government to refrain from violence and on Mubarak to keep his promises of reform.

Saturday, Jan. 29 - Egypt: The police vanished overnight, and looters ransacked shopping districts throughout Cairo and the suburbs. Residents formed neighborhood watch groups to protect their property. Rallies continued at Tahrir Square and other sites. Mubarak named his intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as his first ever vice president.

Egyptian soldiers secure Cairo's famed antiquities museum early on Saturday, protecting thousands of priceless artifacts, including the gold mask of King Tutankhamun, from looters.

The greatest threat to the Egyptian Museum, which draws millions of tourists a year, appeares to come from the fire engulfing the ruling party headquarters next door on Friday night, set ablaze by anti-government protesters.

Thousands of anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square stand their ground, despite troops firing into the air in a bid to disperse them.

Hosni Mubarak has for the first time during his three decades in power appointed a vice-president. The man now second-in-command is Omar Suleiman, the country's former spy chief, who has been working closely with Mubarak during most of his reign.

Al Jazeera's sources have indicated that the military has now also been deployed to the resort town of Sharm el Shaikh.

Al Jazeera's correspondent in the city of Suez, said the city had witnessed a "completely chaotic night", but that the streets were quiet as day broke.

In a statement released in Berlin on Saturday, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany said they were "deeply worried about the events in Egypt".

The Gulf Cooperation Council, a loose economic and political bloc of states in the Gulf, said on Sunday that it wanted a "stable Egypt".

The US embassy in Cairo has advised all Americans currently in Egypt to consider leaving as soon as possible, given the unrest. The UK authorities have advised against all but essential travel to the country for its citizens.

Turkey has also said that it is sending aircraft to evacuate its citizens.

Demonstrators standing on an army vehicle in Tahrir Square, Cairo
The night of 28/29 January was quieter in Cairo with fewer reports of looting than in previous days.

Multiple and widespread protests continued, with many protesters chanting, "Down with Mubarak". Chants of "the people and the army are one" were also heard, as the position of the army in the course of events continued to be critical but ambiguous. By 2:00 pm local time, approximately 50,000 people had gathered in Tahrir Square, 10,000 gathered in Kafr-al-Sheikh, and additional protests were held throughout Egypt. A curfew was announced by the army for Cairo, Alexandria and Suez from 4 – 6 pm. The 6:00 pm police curfew the previous day had had "almost no effect whatsoever", according to Al Jazeera English, and protesters continued to descend on Tahrir Square. Protesters also gathered at the Ministry of Interior, and three of them were killed by police when they tried to storm the building.

Protesters were described by reporters as more confident than the previous day and earlier, and even celebratory as they felt they were nearing their objective—the end of Mubarak's presidency—although they had no tangible evidence that it was coming about. An eyewitness told Al Jazeera that people of all ages, men and women were present. Despite the curfew, people were on the streets and no one was attempting to stop them. Looting was also reported, while no police were visible on Cairo's streets.

In Beni Suef, south of Cairo, 17 protesters were shot dead by police as they attempted to attack two police stations in the city. Eight more people were killed during protests in the city. In the Abu Zabaal prison in Cairo, eight people were killed as police clashed with inmates trying to escape. According to a Reuters tally, these deaths bring the total death toll to at least 100; however, no figures could be accurately confirmed. Inmates rioted in Cairo's Wadi Natrun prison as it was attacked by an angry mob leading to the escape of several Islamist terrorists and others. Prison overcrowding and police brutality were one of the complaints voiced by many of the protesters in urban Egypt. Emad Gad, an analyst with the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said that he has obtained information from a trustworthy source that "there have been orders from the very top to free known felons from the prisons, to arm them and to let them mingle with protesters."

Two Egyptian policemen jailed following the death of anti-corruption activist Khaled Said were among the hundreds of prisoners that escaped in Cairo that day.

Tanks were reported on the streets of Suez. A police station was torched after protesters seized weapons stored inside before telling officers to get out. At first there was a presence of the Central Security Force, then army troops who were ordered into major cities to quell street fighting. In the Sinai town of Rafah a lynch mob killed three police officers.

Many tourists sites have been disrupted, with access to the Pyramids in Giza suspended. The resort town of Sharm-el Shaikh, however, has been calm. Chaos had been reported at Cairo International Airport, where thousands of stranded and frightened foreigners are attempting to be evacuated back to their home countries.

Egypt - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak named intelligence chief Omar Suleiman vice president of Egypt. Suleiman is the first person appointed to the position since Mubarak took office in 1981. Suleiman has long been considered a likely successor to Mubarak, according to profiles in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and The Los Angeles Times.

In Washington, D.C., protesters gathered outside the Egyptian embassy, waving Egyptian flags and calling for the Mubarak's resignation.

Yemen - A small anti-government protest turned violent as protesters, who were marching to the Egyptian embassy in the capital San'a, clashed with security forces.

30 January

A troop carrier defaced with protester graffiti, the larger of which reads "Down with Mubarak", "No to Mubarak", "Mubarak the dictator has fallen" and "Leave, you thief!"
Overnight, thousands of protesters continued to defy the curfew, and as the night progressed, troops and armoured vehicles were deployed across Cairo to guard key places such as train stations, major government buildings and banks. The army had insufficient capacity to patrol neighborhoods, thus residents set up vigilante groups armed with guns, clubs and knives to drive off looters and robbers.

A heavy army presence (though no police) was also reported in Suez. Chaos was also rampant in Suez the previous night, but as day broke the streets remained relatively quiet. Like in Cairo, many residents formed vigilante groups to protect their homes and businesses due to the absence of police. The military set up numerous checkpoints throughout the city. About another 30 dead bodies were taken to El Damardash Hospital in central Cairo. The figure included 2 children.

By 6:00 am local time, Tahrir Square was quiet with only a few hundred people. Later in the morning, 3,000–5,000 protesters were reported as gathering there, including hundreds of state judges protesting for the first time. They, among others, have called for a new constitution and a transitional government. Judges joined the Tahrir demonstrations. Soldiers were given orders to use live ammunition, but the army said the order would be refused since they were present to "protect the people." According to Al Jazeera Arabic, the army chief told protesters they would not be fired upon. Helicopters were monitoring the protests, and fighter jets were repeatedly flying low over the Tahrir Square.

After the first pass of the two Egyptian Air Force F-16s, the crowd cheered but subsequent passes triggered louder chants, laughing, and waving. The crowd did not disperse. Protesters were also reported picking up trash in Tahrir Square, as essential services were not working and that they wanted to "keep our country clean". Food and water were offered at the scene.

Protesters in Tahrir Square. "Go away Mubarak"

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's Minister of Defence and Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, was seen with the protesters in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. As of 18:30, Mohammed ElBaradei had arrived in Tahrir Square and told that crowd that "what we have begun cannot go back". He also said "You are the owners of this revolution. You are the future. Our key demand is the departure of the regime and the beginning of a new Egypt in which each Egyptian lives in virtue, freedom and dignity."

The Muslim Brotherhood, along with the April 6 Youth Movement, "We are all Khaled Said", National Association for Change, Jan 25 Movement and Kefaya (the main organizers of the protests) gave their support to Mohammed ElBaradei to act as a negotiator in the formation of a temporary national unity government. Al Jazeera reported that 34 members of the Muslim Brotherhood were released from custody as their guards abandoned their posts.

President Mubarak asked the current aviation minister and former chief of Air Staff Ahmed Shafiq, to form a new government. Shafiq, a party loyalist, had often been mentioned as a potential successor to Mubarak due to his politically reliable nature.

The Egyptian Central Bank said all banks and the stock market would remain closed on Sunday, 30 January. Police returned to the streets at about 10:30 pm except at Tahrir Square. By 10:55 local time, Al Jazeera's offices in Cairo were ordered to be closed. At the same time, all correspondents for the network had their credentials revoked.

On the night of 30 January Mubarak's Sharm el-Sheikh holiday villa was guarded by a small force of armed and loyal police who turned away all approaching vehicles. Sharm el-Sheikh had seen no deaths and only a minimal amount of trouble. A number of military aircraft were visible from the local airport’s perimeter fence, although the airport is frequently used by the armed forces for operations. It was also one of the hubs for private air travel in and around Egypt, but most light aircraft had left the airport earlier in the day.

Thousands of anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square stand their ground, despite troops firing into the air in a bid to disperse them.

Hosni Mubarak has for the first time during his three decades in power appointed a vice-president. The man now second-in-command is Omar Suleiman, the country's former spy chief, who has been working closely with Mubarak during most of his reign.

Al Jazeera's sources have indicated that the military has now also been deployed to the resort town of Sharm el Shaikh.

Al Jazeera's correspondent in the city of Suez, said the city had witnessed a "completely chaotic night", but that the streets were quiet as day broke.

In a statement released in Berlin on Saturday, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany said they were "deeply worried about the events in Egypt".

The Gulf Cooperation Council, a loose economic and political bloc of states in the Gulf, said on Sunday that it wanted a "stable Egypt".

The US embassy in Cairo has advised all Americans currently in Egypt to consider leaving as soon as possible, given the unrest. The UK authorities have advised against all but essential travel to the country for its citizens.

Turkey has also said that it is sending aircraft to evacuate its citizens.

Egypt - Bread and other staples disappeared from store shelves as Egyptians stockpiled goods. Banks were closed, and fuel stations ran low on gas. ElBaradei joined protesters at Tahrir Square. President Barack Obama called for an "orderly transition" of power in Egypt.

Egypt - Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei arrived at the center of the political unrest in Cairo as protesters engaged in a standoff with the military. ElBaradei said on American television news shows that President Obama should hasten calls for President Hosni Mubarak to step down, saying the 30-year Egyptian leader possesses no credibility as a democratic reformer.

In Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton insisted American interests jibe with the protesters calling for new leadership and further decoupled the Obama administration from Mubarak. Clinton stopped short of advocating that Mubarak relinquish power but did call for “an orderly transition to meet the democratic and economic needs of the people.”

Also in Washington, Sen. John McCain called for the Obama administration to step up its level of engagement, saying Egypt’s political unrest represents a dangerous fuse that could detonate into radicalism.

Monday, Jan. 31 - Egypt: Throngs of protesters gathered again downtown. Mubarak announced his new Cabinet, mostly the same old faces. The most significant appointment was of a new interior minister, a retired police general. Opposition groups rejected the reshuffling and planned a "million-strong" march.

President Hosni Mubarak still refuses to step down, amid growing calls for his resignation. Protesters continue to defy the military-imposed curfew. Thousands remain gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square and hundreds have marched through Alexandria.

Internet access across Egypt is still shoddy according to most reports.

Egypt's new vice president has promised dialogue in order to push through constitutional reforms.

Protesters remain camped out in Tahrir Square from a variety of political and demographic groups.

The White House says that the Egyptian government must engage with its people to resolve current unrest. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says the crisis in Egypt "is not about appointments, it's about actions ... They have to address freedoms that the people of Egypt seek".

Opposition groups continue to call for a "million man march" and a general strike on Tuesday to commemorate one week since the protest movement began. Meanwhile, the military reiterates that it will not attempt to hurt protesters.

As 250,000 gather around Cairo's Tahrir Square on Monday, President Mubarak asks his new prime minister, Ahmad Shafiq, to start talks with the opposition.

The EU calls for free and fair elections in Egypt.

Worldwide investors continue withdrawing significant capital from Egypt amid rising unrest.

Mubarak names his new cabinet on state television, among them, Mahmoud Wagdi, sworn in as the new interior minister.

Egypt releases the six Al Jazeera journalists who were arrested in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Egyptian film star Omar Sharif, known for his role in Lawrence of Arabia, has added his voice to those calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down, Reuters reports.

Former US president Jimmy Carter calls the unrest in Egypt an "earth-shaking event", and says he guesses Hosni Mubarak "will have to leave", the US Ledger-Enquirer reports.

Israel urges the world to tone down Mubarak criticism amid Egypt unrest to preserve stability in the region, the Haaretz newspaper reports, citing senior Israeli officials.

President Mubarak tells his new prime minister, Ahmad Shafiq to keep government subsidies and cut prices.

Al Jazeera says its broadcast signal across the Arab region is facing interference on a scale it has not experienced before.

Egypt - The State Department is demanding the release of six detained Al-Jazeera journalists who were arrested today by Egyptian authorities. “We are concerned by the shutdown of Al-Jazeera in Egypt and arrest of its correspondents. Egypt must be open and the reporters released,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley tweeted this morning.

The State Department also announced plans to evacuate at least 900 Americans from Egypt today and additional Americans tomorrow. About 500 were evacuated by mid-afternoon eastern time, and at least 1,200 Americans were evacuated by the end of the day.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood declared its "total rejection of the new cabinet" that was sworn in today.

New Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman said on state television late Monday that he had been authorized to start talking with the opposition to work out constitutional and political reforms, according to The New York Times, which reported that "it was not immediately clear who Mr. Suleiman was addressing his offer to, or whether the opposition would accept."

Also, the Egyptian military announced that it will not use force during the called for February 1 "march of millions" in Cairo.

Algeria - More than 10,000 protesters dispersed peacefully in the northern town of Bejaia after shouting "Tunisia-inspired slogans," according to the AFP news organization.

Elsewhere in Algeria, a pro-democracy group announced plans to march on Algiers on February 12.

Yemen - Thousands of protesters gathered in two rural areas of the country to voice opposition to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling party. Opposition groups announced country-wide demonstrations on Thursday.

Chronology of Mideast Uprising - February 2011

February 1: Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, announces in a televised address that he will not run for re-election but refused to step down from office - the central demand of millions of protesters who have demonstrated across Egypt over the past week.

Mubarak promised reforms to the constitution, particularly Article 76, which makes it virtually impossible for independent candidates to run for office. And he said his government would focus on improving the economy and providing jobs.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian opposition figure who returned to Cairo to take part in the protests, said Mubarak's pledge not to stand again for the presidency was an act of deception.

Abdelhalim Kandil, leader of Egypt's Kifaya (Enough) opposition movement, says that President Mubarak's offer not to serve a sixth term as Head of State was not enough.

US President Barack Obama in a speech at the White House praised the Egyptian military for their patriotism and for allowing peaceful demonstrations. He said that only the Egyptian people can determine their leaders.

Shortly after his speech, clashes broke out between pro-Mubarak and anti-government protesters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Al Jazeera's correspondent reported.

Khalid Abdel Nasser, son of the former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, too joined the protest in Tahrir Square.

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

Number of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir square revised to more than a million people. Thousands more took to the streets throughout Egypt, including in Alexandria and Suez.

Egypt: Hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded into Tahrir Square for the biggest rally of the week. The mood was festive and peaceful, with no sign of riot police and only a muted military presence. At about 11 p.m., Mubarak announced he'd step down from the presidency in September. Obama called Mubarak and said an orderly transition "must be meaningful and peaceful, must begin now and must include opposition parties."

EGYPT -- On Egyptian national television, President Hosni Mubarak announced that he will not seek another term as president, but will stay on until elections are held.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians poured into the streets of Cairo demanding an end to Murbarak's presidency.

JORDAN -- King Abdullah II fired his government and charged his new prime minister, Marouf al-Bakhit, to pursue political reforms to "correct the mistakes of the past."

February 2: Preparations begin for another day of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's regime. The army with tanks are still deployed throughout different positions in and around the square.

Google improves its speak2tweet technology for the people in Egypt.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Boston entrepreneur Hadid Habbab has called for volunteers to help find his missing friend, Google executive Wael Ghonim, who went missing during the protests of the past week.

Clashes between anti-government and pro-Mubarak protesters in Alexandria.

Internet services were at least partially restored in Cairo after a five-day blackout aimed at stymieing protests against Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Egypt's newly appointed vice-president has said that anti-government protests must stop before dialogue can begin with opposition groups.

Violent clashes raged for much of Wednesday around Tahrir Square in central Cairo. Up to 1,500 people were injured, some of them seriously, and by the day's end at least three deaths were reported by the Reuters news agency quoting officials.

Pro-democracy protesters said the military allowed thousands of pro-Mubarak supporters, armed with sticks and knives, to enter the square on Wednesday.

EGYPT -- A least one person was killed and 403 people were injured today during clashes between pro- and anti-government crowds in Ciaro and Alexandria, according to Egypt's Health minister, Ahmed Hosni.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today at a press conference that the violence in Egypt must stop and that President Hosni Mubarak must begin his transition out of power now.

YEMEN -- President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced that he wouldn't seek reelection or seek to transfer power to his son when Saleh's term ends in 2013. Despite his announcement, protesters still planned for a "Day of Rage" protest Thursday.

JORDAN -- Despite the appointment this week of Maruf Bakhit as prime minister with a mandate to introduce "true" political reforms, the Islamic Action Front, the country's largest political group, is organizing a mass protest Friday to mark Bakhit's appointment.

SYRIA -- About 11,000 peole joined The Syrian Revolution 2011's Facebook page, on which is a call for a day of protest Friday.

February 3: Bursts of heavy gunfire early on Thursday aimed at anti-government demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir [Liberation] Square, left at least five people dead and several more wounded, according to reports from Cairo.

Sustained bursts of automatic weapons fire and powerful single shots began at around around 4am local time (0200GMT) and went on for more than an hour.

EGYPT -- Newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman told Egyptians in a nationwide television address that the protesters' demands are "legitimate" and that he has set up a "road map" to implement those demands.

The New York Times reported that the White House is discussing a plan with Egyptian authorities by which President Hosni Mubarak would step down immediately and new Vice President Omar Suleiman would lead a transitional government.

YEMEN -- A "Day of Rage" with more than 20,000 protesters in the nation's capital ended peacefully today, though the protest's organizers promised to return each Thursday until President Ali Abdullah Saleh steps down.

ALGERIA -- President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced today that he would soon lift the nation's almost 20-year-old state of emergency, a key demand of protesters who march on the nation's capital.

February 4: Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square for what they have termed the "Day of Departure".

Chants urging Hosni Mubarak, the president, to leave reverberate across the square, as the country enters its eleventh day of unrest and mass demonstrations.

JORDAN -- Although hundreds of people staged an anti-government protest against newly installed Prime Minister Marouf al-Bahkit, the country's main Islamic opposition group said it wants to give him some time to carry out reforms.

SYRIA -- No protesters showed up for a planned demonstration in the capital, Damascus. Who did show up were plainclothes police deployed in key areas of the Syrian capital.

February 5: Thousands remain inside Tahrir Square fear an apporaching attempt by the military to evacuate the square.

Differing reports of how many have died in the last 11 days of protests and clashes surface.

The Egyptian health minister says 11 people have died, while the United Nations says 300 people may have been killed across the country since protests began. New agencies have counted more than 150 dead in morgues in Alexandria, Suez and Cairo.

Reuters quotes Egyptian state TV as saying "terrorists" have targeted an Israel-Egypt gas pipeline in northern Sinai.

The leadership of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party resigns, including Gamal Mubarak, the son of Hosni Mubarak. The new secretary general of the party is Hossam Badrawi, seen as a member of the liberal wing of the party.

During the night of 4–5 February, a few protesters continued to camp out in Tahrir Square, though it was largely quiet.

Despite the cold, rainy conditions, anti-government protesters continue to stand their ground at Tahrir Square. Early in the morning shots were fired as protesters said pro-Mubarak activists tried to assault the square. Troops then fired into the air to disperse them. Demonstrators later formed a human chain to prevent tanks from passing through the barricades into the anti-Mubarak enclave in Tahrir Square; a witness said scuffles broke out when an army general asked demonstrators to take down their make-shift barricades of corrugated steel and debris. As the army tightened access to Tahrir Square, the head of the army met protesters and asked them to return home so that life could return to normal. Protesters responded that "he (Mubarak) will go" and they would not. The army was also more organised and present on the day that during any other day of the protest.[199] A heavy military presence continued in central Cairo. An Interior Ministry spokesman said that "the army remains neutral and is not taking sides because if we protect one side we will be perceived as biased....our role is to prevent clashes and chaos as we separate the opposing groups."

Scuffles were reported during the day in Tahrir Square and one protester was said to have died. A group of foreigners[which?] have joined the protesters in Tahrir Square, handing our flowers to the protesters in a sign of solidarity and holding up a banner in English.[199] Five hundred protesters also arrived in Tahrir Square from Suez.[199] There were also reports of over 10,000 people continuing to stay in Alexandria through the night.

February 6: Things turned darker in Egypt, as more protesters were killed and journalists arrested.

The same organisers of the "Day of Anger", "Friday of Anger", "March of the Millions" and "Friday of Departure" called for a protest in what was dubbed the "Sunday of Martyrs"[259] (Arabic: أحد الشهداء‎).

During the night of 5–6 February, some protesters continued to camp out in Tahrir Square, and Alexandria had peaceful late-night protests. However, gunfire was heard in the early hours of the day in Cairo.

Egyptian Christians held mass in the morning in Tahrir Square to counter claims by state television that most of the anti-Mubarak protesters are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Copts wanted to show that they are a part of Egypt's popular uprising and share the same grievances as the rest of the country. Christians started their Sunday Mass in Cairo's Tahrir Square as Muslim protesters formed a ring around them to protect them during the service. Crowds in Tahrir Square chanted "We are one, we are one" ahead of prayers held at noon for those killed during the protests. Muslims later participated in Salat al-Janazah (Arabic: صلاة الجنازة‎) (literally: funeral prayer). Protesters in Cairo numbered in the vicinity of 1 million. In the midst of all of this, a young couple decided to get married. They planned to spend their honeymoon in Tahrir Square.

There were also demonstrations continuing in Alexandria focuses around the train station of El Ramel.[199] Several thousand anti-government protesters also continued calling for the Mubarak's resignation in Mansoura.

Journalists continued to be targets of the ruling regime. Ayman Mohyeldin, an Al Jazeera English journalist, was arrested by soldiers in Tahrir Square, and held for 9 hours.

Banks temporarily reopened throughout the country amidst long queues,[266] and people rushed to buy US dollars.

There were also negotiations between Vice President Omar Suleiman and members from the opposition, including Mohammed Morsi(ar) and El-Sayyid el-Badawi. The Muslim Brotherhood said it was taking part in a dialogue with the government.[268] Suleiman agreed to a plan to set up a committee of judiciary and political figures to study constitutional reforms. Results of the committee are due by early March.[269] Naguib Sawiris, who was also involved in the talks, said that "big progress" had been made.[270]

February 7:

A symbolic funeral procession was held for Ahmed Mahmoud in Tahrir Square. Protesters demanded that an investigation be carried out into the cause of his death.

At least 70 people were wounded when hundreds of residents attacked the police station in Khargah to demand the ouster of a police official who had a reputation for heavy-handedness. Police then opened fire on the protesters. Authorities said that 11 people were said to have been killed across the country. The United Nations says it is more than 300.

Things turn brighter: Wael Ghonim, Google's head of Marketing for the Middle East and North Africa and the founder of the Facebook page that was said to have been influential in fomenting the protests, who had been in custody since 25 January, was reported to have been released.At 20:00, he posted on Twitter that "Freedom is a blessing that deserves fighting for it." (sic)[275] Since his release from custody and an interview on DreamTV, thousands of supporters joined a Facebook page created in his honour. "We authorise Wael Ghoneim to speak on behalf of the Egyptian revolution."

He issued a statement reading:

First of all my sincere condolences for all the Egyptians that lost their lives. I am really sorry for their loss, none of us wanted this. We were not destroying things. We all wanted peaceful protests, and our slogan was no to vandalism. Please don't turn me into a hero. I am not a hero, I am someone that was asleep for 12 days. The real heroes are the ones that took to the streets, please focus your cameras on the right people. I am okay. God willing we will change our country, and all the filth that was taking place in the country has to stop. Together we will clean this country.

English online ttranslation of Wael Ghonim Dream TV interview transcript

Finance Minister Samir Radwan said 6.5 billion Egyptian pounds (US$960 million) will be allocated to cover a 15 percent raise in pensions and salaries for government employees. This decision was made at the first Cabinet meeting since the protests began. One protester said that protests would not end soon because of increasing concessions that the regime offers. While banks have reopened, schools and the stock exchange remain closed. The Egyptian Stock Exchange said it would resumed work on 13 February.

Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass announced that artifacts damaged by looters would be restored over the next five days<. He also said that steps were being taken to reopen Egypt's famed archaeological sites, which have been closed since pro-democracy protests started two weeks ago. Among the objects damaged was a statue of King Tutankhamun standing on a panther and a wooden sarcophagus from the New Kingdom period, dating back roughly 3,500 years ago. The museum, which is right next to the massive anti-government protests in downtown Cairo, is now being guarded by the army.

Former minister of the interior Habib El-Adli faces prosecution in a military court over giving orders to fire at protesters and obstructing peace in Egypt, as well as his role in the 31 December, 2010 bombing of al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria.

State-owned Al-Ahram, declared its support for the protesters and stopped supporting the ruling regime.[281] Der Spiegel reported an unconfirmed rumour that Mubarak was planning a "prolonged hospital stay" in Germany, a move that would, in effect, have him leave the presidency paving the way for a face saving transition of power

Middle East protests, Tunisia and Egypt links:

Wael Ghonim Dream TV Parts One and Two, video in Arabic

2010-2011 Tunisia Revolution Wikipedia webpage

Wael Ghonim "ElShaheed" Facebook webpage We Are All Khaled Said

April 6th Movement for Youth wikipedia page

Wikipedia 2011 Egyptian protests

Tunisia revolution and Egypt protests, timelines chronology December 2010 / January 2011

2011 Mideast Uprisings, Summary and Links

February 8, 2011

Day of Egypt's Love

The same organisers of the "Day of Anger," "Friday of Anger," "March of the Millions" and "Friday of Departure" called for a protest in what was dubbed the "Day of Egypt's Love". (Arabic: يوم حب مصر‎).

In one of the largest protests yet, over a million people gathered in and around Tahrir Square to demonstrate. Some people were reported to be joining the protests for the first time. At least a 1,000 protesters went to the parliament to demand Mubarak's resignation. There was also a substantial protest in Alexandria, while Suez Canal workers also went on strike.

BBC correspondents reported that by the afternoon the protests had the highest turnout since the protests commenced. Hundreds of Journalists gathered in the lobby of the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram's headquarters to protest against corruption and calling for more press freedom.

In a statement made on Egyptian state television, Omar Suleiman announced the formation of two independent committees for political and constitutional reforms, both starting work immediately. One committee would carry out constitutional and legislative amendments to enable a shift of power; while the other committee would monitor the implementation of all proposed reforms. Suleiman also stressed that demonstrators would not be prosecuted and that a separate independent fact-finding committee would be established to probe the violence of 2 February. He said that wider press freedoms were under consideration and that he would produce a checklist of what was needed to hold free elections. He also said that plans were underway to organise a peaceful transfer of power. Suleiman reiterated his view that Egypt is not ready for democracy, while also warning of a possible coup d'état unless demonstrators agree to enter negotiations.

Ibrahim Yosri, a lawyer and former deputy foreign minister, drafted a petition, along with 20 other lawyers, asking the Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud to try Mubarak and his family for stealing state wealth.

According to the state-owned Middle East News Agency, Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy issued an order today releasing 34 political detainees, mostly members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

February 9, 2011

Some protesters moved from Tahrir Square to set up camp in the area outside the parliament buildings, demanding the assembly's immediate dissolution. The demonstrators put up a sign that said: "Closed until the fall of the regime." The cabinet offices in Cairo had been evacuated and officials were relocated after anti-government protesters gathered outside the building. Meanwhile, labour unions across the country, and particularly in Alexandria, Cairo and Suez, were staging general strikes demanding higher wages and better treatment from their employers. The strikers were said to number around 20,000 workers at various factories in different cities over the past 24 hours.

Violent clashes were also reported in Wadi al-Jadid, where police stations and NDP party building had been destroyed. Several deaths and hundreds of injuries also occurred. Clashes were said to have killed three people and left hundreds more wounded in the past two days.

Egyptians living outside the country also returned to join the anti-government demonstrations. There was also an internet campaign that sought to mobilise thousands of expatriates to return home and support the uprising.

The government followed up on a prisoner amnesty from the previous day releasing 1,000 more prisoners who had served three-quarters of their sentence; 840 more were released from Sinani province. The Muslim Brotherhood continued calls for Mubarak's resignation. The offices of the state-owned Channel 5 in Alexandria were shut down and evacuated under the order of its chief amid mounting pressure by protesters.

The government warned of military crackdown amid ongoing protests. Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit rejected US calls for to repeal the emergency law and also accused the US of trying to impose its will.

Culture Minister Gaber Asfour resigned after one week in office citing health problems.

Protesters in Port Said burnt down the local governorate building in response for the governor's reluctance to provide enough apartments in the city.

10 February 2011: Mubarak formally addressed Egypt amid reports of a possible military coup, but instead of his expected resignation, he stated his powers would transfer to Vice President Suleiman, and he would remain in Egypt as its head of state. Anger and disappointment spread through crowds in Cairo, and demonstrations began to escalate in number and intensity throughout Egypt.

11 February 2011: Massive protests in response to Mubarak’s speech continued in many Egyptian cities. At 6:00 p.m. local time, Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation and that the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces would assume leadership of the country.

13 February 2011: The Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces dissolved Egypt’s parliament and suspended the Constitution. The council also declared that it would hold power for six months or until elections could be held, whichever came first. ElBaradei urged the council to provide more details to the Egyptian people regarding its plans. Major protests subsided but uncertainty remained, and many pledged to keep returning to Tahrir square until all demands had been met.

Iran 2011: Green Movement rises up again

On 9 February 2011, various opposition groups of Iran sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior to request a protest under the control of the Iranian police, but the government officials denied it.[8] Despite these setbacks and crackdowns on activists and members of opposition parties, opposition leaders, such as Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, called for protests.

The date of 14 February was chosen for protests to coincide with the 25th day of Bahman,[11] the 11th month of the Persian calendar. The day before the protests were due to begin, opposition leaders Mousavi and Karroubi were placed under house arrest and denied access to telephones and the Internet. Their homes were blockaded and they were not allowed visitors.[13][14] On 14 February 2011, thousands of protesters began to gather in a solidarity rally with Egypt and Tunisia. There was a large number of police on the streets to keep an eye on the protesters, but thousands were still able to gather together in Tehran's Azadi Square.[15] The number of protesters is unknown and different sources give wide range of assessments, from "thousands" to "hundreds of thousands".

The solidarity protests became an anti-government demonstration during which the police fired tear gas and shot paintballs at protesters. Protesters responded by setting fires in garbage bins to protect themselves. Video footage shows one civilian being violently beaten by a group of protesters.

Protests were also reported in the cities of Isfahan and Shiraz, which police forcibly dispersed, as well as in Rasht, Mashhad and Kermanshah.

The protests that occurred on this day marks a setback for the propaganda and influence of the ruling regime of Iran, as the regime have campaigned that Mousavi's Green Movement lost momentum, but the revived uprisings help prove otherwise.
Protests on the 15th were not as intense, with anticipation for larger protests on the following day.

Protesters had sporadic clashes with pro government forces on the 16th. Karroubi and Mousavi responded to calls for their execution yesterday by saying they are willing to die for change.

New protests were planned for 3pm on Sunday, 20th February, the one week anniversary of those killed in the 14th February protests.

On 17 February, it was reported that opposition leader Mousavi had been missing since Tuesday. [26] Mousavi's daughters stated that they had had no contact with him for over two days, after security forces put him under house arrest. His daughters feared that both Mousavi and their mother "had been detained". Mousavi's website stated that the normal guards that had been surrounding his home during his house arrest over the past week had been replaced with "masked security forces".

Opposition leader Karroubi reported that one of his son's homes had been raided in an attempt to arrest his eldest son, who had not been in the building at the time.

Ignacio Perez Cambra, the Consul of Spain in Iran, was arrested for a period of four hours during the early part of the day on 14 February. He was accused by Iranian police of going to one of the demonstrations.[29] Spain later demanded an explanation or apology from the Iranian government about the arrest of Cambra that included a "satisfactory response", threatening to call him home from Iran if one was not received. The foreign ministry already announced that it had "suspended an upcoming visit to Madrid by a senior Iranian diplomat."

The official number of protesters arrested is relayed as 150 by the government, though the opposition claims that the numbers are far higher, around 1,500.

Arab Awakening February 18th Day of Anger

Emulating their successful revolutionary cousins in Tunisia and Egypt, democracy protesters escalated the battle in Libya, Algeria, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain and more.

Sources incl: miamiherald.com, sarahalaoui.blogspot.com, aljazeera.net, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Egyptian_protests, nationaljournal.com, miamiherald.com, sarahalaoui.blogspot.com, recreatingtampa.com, http://theglobalrealm.com, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Revolution_of_2011

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