Yasser Salama, a baker by trade, was born in 1973 and is a resident of Zawya El-Hamra. He has been in Tahrir Square since Jan. 28. “I saw people being shot and thought I’d come and die with dignity here.”
He relates with other protesters, especially those who have problems caused by the Interior Minister. Living on handouts now he says he feels safer in Tahrir than back home. “I’m from the lowest class which means the police can stop me and charge me with crimes I didn’t commit. I can’t do anything. They beat me in my own neighborhood.”
Yasser says he will stay in Tahrir Square until “he [Mubarak] leaves or I die” which for him “is better than a life of humiliation.”
Islam Badr El-Din
Islam is a 32-year-old married man with two children. He is a partner in an electric contracting company with his brother. “My brother and I built a company together and we have to pay kickbacks and bribes to get anything done.” He has a strong interest in politics and says, “I’ve seen oppression like you wouldn’t believe.”
Fed up with the years of corrupt business practices, Islam has ignored his mother’s advice to stay away from the protests. “My family is upset with me but I told them I want my son to be free. He shouldn’t have to buy his freedom and dignity like I do.”
Haitham is a 27-year-old man from Sharqeya who has been camped out in Tahrir Square with his cousin since Jan. 28. After graduating from university and finishing his mandatory service in the military he was unable to find work. “I came to participate after I saw my brothers and sisters being killed and injured. It’s time we speak for ourselves.”
By insisting the government has to go Haitham believes the protesters can regain lost rights. “We are trying to bring things back here bit by bit from their sabotage and that’s what people need to understand.” He says the government’s response to the protests has been antagonistic and their promises can’t be trusted. “If Mubarak falls then all those with him will fall, the whole regime must fall, there will be no chaos when it does, and we’ve already proven that.”
Intisaar Abdel Azim
Intisaar Abdel Azim, a pregnant homemaker, goes to Tahrir Square with her three children everyday to support the protesters.
“I wish I could spend the night here, but I can’t because of my condition and my children,” Abdel Azim told Daily News Egypt.
“I want to guarantee a better future for my children,” she said.
“This country is no longer ours, it’s the government’s and that has to change,” Rehab, Abdel Azim’s teenage daughter said.
“This regime will stay the same as long as Mubarak remains in power…he has to leave,” Abdel Azim said.