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Tens of Thousands of Protesters Gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered on April 8 in downtown Cairo demanding prompt trials for ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his top officials. Several hundred remained in Tahrir Square overnight, defying a curfew. The protesters were dispersed by security forces and troops after clashing.

Cairo’s central Tahrir Square was closed to traffic as dozens of protesters barricaded several entrances a day after it was forcibly evacuated by security forces and soldiers.


Groups of protesters lay in makeshift tents or explained their demands to passersby in the square, which was at the heart of 18 days of protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

“We want to see court rulings against the people who were running this country,” said 31-year-old Mahmoud Youssef, who owns a clothing store. “We want speedy trials. We want to feel that something is being done.”

Tahrir is a word of Arabic origin, meaning liberation. Tahrir square was originally called Midan Ismaileyya (English: Ismailia Square), after the 19th-century ruler Khedive Ismail, who commissioned the new downtown district’s ‘Paris on the Nile’ design. After the Egyptian Revolution of 1919 the square became widely known as Tahrir (Liberation) Square, but the square was not officially renamed until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which changed Egypt from a constitutional monarchy into a republic.[

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Bloomberg Egypt’s Tahrir Square Closed as Protesters Barricade Entrances