Yesterday marked the last day of the first phase of the election. It continued to be a peaceful and worthy process with only minor flaws and breaches.
We took the opportunity to meet up with some journos and do a couple of interviews. We did a Skype interview with Ben Rooney from The Wall Street Journal, his nice postwent up early yesterday.
Around lunch time (well, Egyptian lunch time, meaning 2PM) we had coffee at the Swedish restaurant at Tahrir Square together with Nancy from The Next Web and her friend. We had a really great talk about Bambuser, Egypt and its future and the cultural differences between Egypt and Sweden. It was great interview/meeting/hangout and the article that was posted later that night was probably the best summary of our trip here :-)
Back at the hotel, we also had a Skype interview with Clive Thompson from Wired. It turned out great and we’ll cross our fingers that it will make it to the print version of US Wired :-)
Later that night we strolled down towards Tahrir Square to meet up with our friends at Mosireen and Malika Bilal from Al Jazeera at a Pub called Estoril. The pub is situated literarily 40 meters from the Square. As we walked into the pub, everyone was on their phones and the atmosphere started to get a bit upset. Turned out that hell just broke loose at Tahrir, which we crossed 1 minute ago. Some salesmen was caught doing drugs and the self appointed security people threw them out. Soon after the salesmen returned to the square with their families and armed with sticks, knives and weapons.
As everyone was eager to get back to Tahrir, we were advised not to come. Also Malika was called back to her bureau by her security staff so we didn’t get to do the interview. Instead we went some 100 meters east of Tahrir to have some Koshary (traditional Egyptian dish made of macaroni, lentils, rice, spagetti and a hot chili/oil/garlic sauce). Yes it looks like puke, but it’s actually not that bad :-)
When then decided to head back to the hotel which is basically on the other side of Tahrir. We started to walk (as it’s not that far to take a detour around the unrest at the square). But as we kept walking we felt more and more unsafe. We found a cab and headed back home. Just a minute later we found ourselves in the middle of clashes that had broke out at the highway! Honestly, it was kinda scary stuff but the taxi driver was not a newbee and quickly got us out of there through oneway streets and a couple of pavements… Check out the video below