Protester Loses Second Eye Defending Egypt’s Revolution
Published Monday, November 21, 2011
Ahmed Harara lost his first eye protesting on January 28 shortly after the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution. He has now lost his second one to the violent crackdown by security forces as a new, brutal chapter of the Egyptian Revolution is opened.
As Egyptian online activists and citizen journalists rushed to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the ongoing violence in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, social media sites and other internet platforms were sharing the story of Ahmed Harara.
Harara, who lost his right eye on January 28 during protests leading up to the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak, lost his left eye on November 19, according to social media activists.
“I would rather be blind, but live with dignity and with my head held up high,” Harara was quoted as saying on Egyptian activists’ Facebook pages.
His story made waves on Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks. Harara’s suffering appeared to reflect the feeling, echoed by more than one online activist, that events in Egypt Saturday and Sunday were reminiscent of events following January 25.
“It feels like late January and early February again,” tweeted journalist and activist Lina El Wardani.
Over the past 36 hours, Cairo witnessed the highest levels of violence since the height of the revolution that ousted Mubarak.
Fresh protests began on Saturday, calling for an end to military rule and the handover to civilian rule. The timing is essential, as the first round of parliamentary elections is set for November 28.
Doctors say three people were killed in an ongoing Egyptian army and police assault on Tahrir Square protests, while hundreds more have been injured. People continued to flock to the emblematic square in spite of the violence, according to online activists including Lilian Wagdy.
Activists have reported the use of live fire aimed directly at protesters, though the government has denied this. Hundreds have been reported injured, as police and the military beat protesters with sticks and batons.
Meanwhile, Israel’s outgoing ambassador to Cairo Yitzhak Levanon returned to the Egyptian capital for a short visit Sunday, according to an Egyptian official speaking on condition of anonymity. According to the source, Levanon met briefly with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr.
Levanon and other embassy staff fled Cairo when thousands of Egyptians attacked the building housing the embassy two months ago. The attack took place after Israel killed six Egyptian soldiers in Sinai.
(Al-Akhbar, AP, Al-Jazeera)
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