CAIRO: Hundreds of protesters called for honoring ousted president Hosni Mubarak during a demonstration held Friday afternoon outside Moustafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandiseen, changing “We are sorry Mr. President”
“The people want to honor the president,” they all chanted, borrowing a rhyme popular in anti-Mubarak demonstrations, “The people want to topple the regime.”
Over 1 million people flocked to Tahrir Square at the same time to honor over 365 martyrs and celebrate the “Friday of Victory,” marking a week since Hosni Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of nationwide demonstrations.
“I’m protesting today against the way Mubarak [was forced to] step down …this was very humiliating to the man who served this country for decades,” one protester told Daily News Egypt
“Mubarak is a man who never accepted injustice,” she added.Another protester said that “Mubarak should have been given a chance to restore order in the country before leaving.”
“Wake up … Mubarak is your father,” protesters chanted.
“Mubarak, raise your head up high …we know how loyal you are,” the protesters said.
The pro-Mubarak protesters also hailed whom they descried as “the martyrs of change,” the protesters killed by police forces on Jan. 25 and the following days, while some carried large banners featuring the pictures of some victims.
Afterwards, they stood a minute of silence and recited verses of the holy Quran to honor them
Other protesters carried a banner on which they wrote: “Yes for change, no for insulting the strongman …We are sorry Mr. President.”
During the protest, the organizers played the national anthem while protesters sang, waving the Egyptian flags. Then they raised their hands in a military salute.
The organizers also played Mubarak’s final TV speech followed by a patriotic song by pop-star icon Amr Diab.
Military police soldiers and officers partially cordoned off the protesters, while only one senior police officer appeared on the scene.
The Friday prayer’s sermon given by the Imam at Moustafa Mahmoud Mosque before the protest called on Egyptians to give up protesting and get back to work.
A wave of sector protests and strikes has swept the country since Feb. 9. After Mubarak stepped down, the now ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces urged citizens to go back to work to rebuild the country and put an end to strikes.
By Marwa Al-A’sar