50,000 people gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo today to protest against proposed changes to the constitution. There is no doubt that Egyptians are worried about the future but this huge demonstration felt like a nice family day out.
All ages were in the square – from the very old being helped by their relatives to children enjoying the drama hugely.
Everyone had their cameras out and were taking group shots and shots of themselves in the crowd for posterity. The two lions that flank the bridge into the square were very, very popular.
Street sellers were doing a roaring trade. roasted sweet potatoes, flags at 30p a go, and pleated paper hats were the best buys.
The crowds were incredibly friendly. I got welcomed to Egypt at least 100 times and no-one questioned why I was standing in the middle of the square with my tiny tourist camera.
As the elections approach and the pressure for things to actually change and progress increases, I hope the spirit of Tahrir carries on.
Postscript: A day later and as I leave the ERTU building after our first training session, residual protestors in the square set fire to an armoured vehicle. The nervous group of young soldiers outside the TV building are trying out their tazers.