Egypt (photo): protesters face off water cannon in prayer (Updated)


Via @Mayousef, photographer unknown, apparently shot in Cairo, Egypt today.

Update: In the New York Times, the story behind this image.



  1. So some info is leaking out of the Egyptian internet? Or did this come by a more circuitous route, I wonder?

  2. the al jazeera office is not far from that bridge. the video may have traveled a satellite link.


  3. Wonderful stuff, one of many images that lays it all bare. The “realists” will tell you that we must remain on the side of those attacking the protesters, so that we can suppress the possible rise of Islamism, and so that we can reassure Israel.
    Never mind the fact that the realists inspire millions more to hate the west with every passing year.
    Maybe these events will finally demonstrate that “the realists” are the most ignorant and narrow-minded observers of world affairs.

    1. First of all, how on earth do you come to attribute legitimate concerns about Islamic fundamentalists exploiting these protests to “reassuring Israel?” What the hell does Israel — which in any case, would benefit from having a liberal, democratic neighbor — have to do with the protests in Egypt?

      Second of all, it’s entirely credible for any liberal, secular person to be concerned that a possible outcome of Mubarak’s toppling would be a Sharia-led government. It’s clear that the protesters motivations are not Islamist and that the prevailing inclination in Egypt would be toward a secular democracy, but it’s perfectly reasonable to see that a very clear threat of the regime-change is that it would be co-opted by the well-organized and funded Islamic fundamentalists. I give you Lebanon, where foreign national Islamists have assassinated the secular prime minister and forcibly taken over the government of a liberal populace, and I give you Iran, where the liberal populace is beaten and intimidated into submission by a vicious Islamist regime which arguably makes the Shah look like Howdy Doody.

      1. Mubarak has been blessed by the USA for so long because he suppresses islamists and turns his back on the Palestinians, aiding the starvation-inducing blockade on Gaza. There is a strong connection between the rise of a militant anti-western strain of islamism and the support that the west gives to the dictators. Moreover, when broader civil society is broken by state terror, mosques become the only place to organise opposition.

        So “the realists” in washington propping up the dictators are breeding anti-western sentiment among the people, by associating every laudable aspect of western civilisation with hypocrisy, dictatorship, and the unending dispossession of the palestinians.

        There are legitimate concerns about who will win out if Egyptian democracy has its chance, just as US democracy inspires legitimate concerns among other countries.

        The solution is not to snuff out democracy, but to support it, engage with it, and to assure the arab democrats that they have friends, even though the democrats will undoubtedly seek a better deal for the palestinians at some point. If the west turns against the burgeoning pro-democracy movement, however, it will turn against the west.

      2. The heart of democracy is that if the majority of a people (like the egyptions) want a religious government it is our duty to stop them.

        You see, democracy only works when they decide to form a government that simulates our own bourgeois, destructive, warlike culture.

        God forbid they self determine to do anything against Isreal, who with their violent apartheid and oppressive genocidal agenda is right in line with US policy.

  4. Just to clarify…

    Egypt (photo): protesters face off water cannon in prayer

    Via @Mayousef, photographer unknown, apparently shot in Cairo, Egypt today.

    I’m pretty sure you meant the photograph was shot in Cairo and NOT the photographer….Right?!!!

      1. The Nile runs almost exactly North-South through Cairo. You’d be hard put to miss East if you’re on a bridge.

  5. Do they really have to waste all of those tear gas canisters? I mean really, they’re all just getting thrown into the water.

    1. “Do they really have to waste all of those tear gas canisters? I mean really, they’re all just getting thrown into the water.”

      Not exactly a green revolution, is it?

      1. All the canisters will float down the Nile into the Mediterranean, where they will accumulate in a pile and form an artificial reef.

  6. yo “Xenu” – your tweet praising Noor for keeping internet on may be a bit too quick. Noor is being kept on possibly because they are the providers for the Egyptian bourse and it is needed to put on a show about the markets being open for trade as usual.

    Perhaps you should also check out the updates on ForeignPolicy or MotherJones ?

  7. “You would strike me, while I am praying??” An excellent use of non-violent protest to show the violence being used by the government.

  8. I’m a militant atheist, reformed-randroid libertarian, hebraic ancestry. And I am totally personally inspired by this image.

    Only image more inspiring would have been Julian in “I’m an anteater” posture intercepting watercannon.

    I would not be happy in that place but I have to support any populace
    (language, food, cultural group) that asserts itself against
    government (generally, governments in the employ of the US), whether or not I agree with them. As an American, I welcome any refugees from other countries, especially if some of them open restaurants, and some of them become engineering colleages and neighbors; and I also respect the will of those people, and think the US should not entangle with foreign governments (see Genl Washington on this..).

    (Unlike the USG which decided that the results of eg the palestianian elections didn’t count because they didn’t like the results).

    Pulitzer, YES. Better than negroes vs. water+dogs in black and white in my parents’ generation.

  9. From the New York Times article about this specific picture; which I believe everyone should read:

    A fruit vendor begged off calls to join the protests, pointing out that he would have to leave his donkey.

    I really am moved by these events and do not want to belittle anything, but I really hope that one day that donkey has a better life.

    1. “…I really hope that one day that donkey has a better life.”

      There’s a fine film which you may find interesting, from 1966, from France, named ‘Au Hasard Balthazar’. See here for more:

      For a scene from the film:

      IMHO this film is very good.

      I hope I’m not being an ass by bringing this film into this thread – but you did indicate some compassion for that donkey.

  10. The first thing that came to mind was Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “I fart in your general direction!” Not as noble as praying, but appropriate.

  11. Anon #17, you really don’t know anything about the ME, so your ‘common sense’ really is nonsense. You try to use Lebanon as an example, but have totally mischaracterized the situation (too much FOX/MSNBC?).

    Hezbollah are the national resistance, representing the Shia, who have historically been shut out of politics in Lebanon, however, they have many political allies, including many Christian blocs. They emerged in response to Israel’s invasions of Lebanon, and are seen by many, many non-Shia Lebanese as heroes, because of their success at fighting Israeli aggression/war crimes. They didn’t ‘take over’ the government, they used a legitimate move, per their parliamentary role to dissolve their bloc with March 11, which necessitated the forming of a new government. Lebanon’s government remains in the same form, but with different people. Clearly not a takeover of the government, as you try to insist.

    Do you think all your concern about ‘Sharia Law’ just came out of the blue? Why do you automatically think it is so much worse than a ‘strongman’ who routinely jails and tortures anybody who opposes him? You see, there is a lot more going on in the ME than is coming through your tiny peephole, which is provided to you by the same people who want to keep Mubarak and the other dictators in power.

  12. A (somewhat paraphrased) joke heard on NPR this morning:

    A flunky comes running into Mubarak’s office waving some papers. “President Mubarak, I have your farewell speech for the people!”

    Mubarak replies, “Oh, are they going somewhere?”

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