Jan. 24 - Egyptians prepare to celebrate first anniversary of January 25 popular uprising after a momentous year of change. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Rallying around calls for police reform and an end to torture, mass protests began in Egypt last January 25. In the face of tear gas and rubber bullets from security forces, a group of a few thousand Egyptians swelled to overwhelm Tahrir Square. As their cause gained momentum, other cities like Suez also became battlegrounds. On January 28, when riot police were pushed from the streets and the army rolled in to cheers, few anticipated that military leaders would later become the target of renewed protests. President Hosni Mubarak responded with a new cabinet, a move that drew scorn from revolutionaries who were gaining confidence after the police retreat. On February 2, their sense of victory was punctured by attacks from men on camel and horseback. With deaths and injuries piling up, many took strength from common prayer. They vowed unity between Christians and Muslims, which would be tested through sectarian fights over the next year. But when Mubarak's resignation became official on February 11, thoughts of the trials to come gave way to optimism and elation. With parliamentary elections and their former president in court, there are changes to celebrate on the revolution anniversary Wednesday. But as they struggle with public disillusionment, activists are also out to prove that they have the momentum to push for more than cosmetic reforms. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters