On Saturday afternoon, I visited a rally outside the United Nations building in New York City, where hundreds had gathered to protest the Mubarak regime in Egypt.
I brought my iPhone—and limited photography skills—to document the gathering.
Egyptian ex-patriots, and Americans of Egyptian ancestry, young and old—though principally young—turned out by the hundreds to the rally in Dag Hammarskjöld Park, despite low temperatures and many inches of accumulated snow.
Some of the gathered were draped in Egyptian flags. Many carried signs. Most were eager to speak of their hopes for their native country's future—and, somewhat more reluctantly, of their fears.
The chanting conveyed mostly hope. Sometimes there were several chants at once—muddled together so indistinctly that I at first thought they were in Arabic. The welter of contrasting voices, in the relative calm of a Second Avenue park, situated next to The Trump World Tower, provided some small inkling of the din and chaos of revolution.
Some of the signs that were carried conveyed flashes of anger. But the anger appeared controlled. In fact, it seemed focused for the consumption of the media, who were in plentiful supply.
A journalist with a video camera interviews one of the protesters. The protester perhaps tips his hand, with regard to his intended audience, with the photo montage on the sign he is carrying.
A woman wearing a burqa poses in front of a satellite truck. She signals a weak thumbs up, which may provide some insight into the concealed expression on her face.
More than a few of the signs made reference to U.S. foreign policy toward Egypt, especially of the aid provided to the Mubarak regime—both economic and military.
Despite the caustic tone of some of the signs this was not a tough crowd.
Blood did not flow in the streets —though red ink ran in the snow, compliments of a busted sharpie.
If books on offer from a sympathetic peddler are any indication of the future, one set of bad old ideas may replace another. (Although, it's worth remarking, at least one author may have a valid point—about the U.S. student loan racket.)
But perhaps there is hope yet.
One young female protester showed me her iPhone—which contained Facebook updates on the situation in Egypt, made by those on the ground in Cairo.
The Facebook account—'We are all Khaled Said'—is a reference to a young man who was allegedly beaten to death by the Egyptian police this summer.
The young woman obscures the bottom of her cell phone with her hand—in order to protect the identities of friends still in Egypt.
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