Image 1 of 16: Jan 25: The "Day of Revolt". While Jan 28 - Friday of Anger - was the point of no return, Jan 25 headlined the uprising that called for the ouster. This thousands-strong protest at country-wide crescendo'd into the seismic tide of people fury that ultimately swayed Mubarak's hand. "Last chance Friday" gave way to "Friday of Departure" Feb 11.
Image 1 of 16: Ironically Jan 25 was National Police Day as decreed by Mubarak to honor police sacrifice for the State in the British era. Now appropriated by the people to protest police brutality - a festering problem - and effect change for a tempered police force. As the people showed that they meant business by numbers, police brutality escalated.
Image 1 of 16: V for Victory or Violations? The same army lauded for being 'one hand' with the people during the core phase of revolution was demonized under SCAF's charge, for showing a rough hand with the people it had refused to fire on. Military trials & forced "virginity tests" (since ruled illegal) on protesters were the agenda of the post Mubarak order.
Image 1 of 16: 2 Feb: The Tahrir “Battle of the Camel.” Who can forget this 'act' of the Tahrir show? Another memorable revolution touchstone. Violence escalated as Mubarak supporters flooded the square on camel and horse back, clashing with anti-government protesters. Mubarak was suspected of rigging this animal spectacle to divert and call off the protests.
Image 1 of 16: Mubarak made televised appearances before his hand was forced. In 3 addresses, he stayed defiant, unwilling to relent power to the people. His final Feb 10 speech did not foreshadow his resignation, but did make the concession to delegate more power to his VP during his last term. Anything less than his exit was not to be a crowd winner though.
Image 1 of 16: At the peak of protests, when camping out in Tahrir was becoming a tad stale & inconvenient, banner jokes for the benefit of the media & Mubarak reminded us of the Egyptian classic humor; Nike's 'Just do it' was borrowed as an entreaty to Mubarak to just leave already! "The Mrs. is about to give birth and our baby doesn't want to see your face".
Image 1 of 16: Did the revolution empower women as the Arab Spring seemed to claim? Salafi elections for the conservative Al Nour Party saw female candidates running for office using the image of their husbands on their campaign posters.
Image 1 of 16: Egypt felt change through a 19 year-old blogger's nudity: This Alia Al-Mahdi challenged traditional ideals of female roles - so that even the most liberal of thinkers struggled to approve her antics. Blogging nude images and sharing her pre-marital activity, outed on TV's most televised square, landed her in very hot water - with death threats.
Image 1 of 16: Wael Ghonim, the Mascot for Jan 25: Google's Egyptian employer galvanized masses to rally around freedom of expression, & social media. Ghonim was detained for his FB page for Khalid Sayed, a victim of police brutality. Some Islamists accused him of being an anarchist & 'mason'. TIME mag. listed him in their 100 most influential people of 2011.
Image 1 of 16: Tantawi is Mubarak! SCAF head Tantawi proved unpopular. With Mubarak deposed, the SCAF wars began. As parliamentary elections got underway, we took a crash course in Egypt's complex electoral system and a pause in SCAF-people scuffles. Jan 23 2012 saw the newly elected Islamist parliament take its seat, and with it the power struggle flared up.
Image 1 of 16: Detained bloggers were now the norm in the freedom of (internet) speech battleground. Michael Nabil published posts against SCAF that got him extended detention. Alaa Abdel Fattah was held til days ago for his alleged role in the Maspero conflict. Female activist Nawara Negm went most of the revolution unscathed, but was badly beaten recently.
Image 1 of 16: Blue bra girl: More 'army versus people' post-Mubarak disappointments were in store, when the transitional ruling military showed brutality against the vulnerable people. Their treatment of female protestors, especially, re-opens questions of Egypt's change post-Mubarak. This exposed woman was a veiled Egyptian protestor.
Image 1 of 16: Abiding image for Egypt 2011: While Jan 25 produced many evocative pictures or faces of revolution (from bloggers & 'one hand', to human shields & blue bras) the image of Tahrir Square resplendent in celebratory light will stay with us. Arab pride in the peaceful will of the people was a sight to inspire others to take to the streets. And it did.
Image 1 of 16: Post Mubarak explosions: The gas pipeline between Egypt, Jordan, and Israel did not fare well out of Mubarak's downfall. This vital regional lifeline has been a target for attacks by unknown 'saboteurs' since the February ouster 2011 when the blasts began.
Image 1 of 16: Change through the eyes of Cairo's constant café: Part of the cityscape since 1908, Café Riche gives a neat vantage for revolution-watch. Revolutionaries all the century have indulged in politics & Turkish coffee here. A stone's throw away from Tahrir, this den has weathered 1919 & 1952, and in 2011 pumps caffeine through the veins of Tahrir Sq.
Image 1 of 16: How has the deafening demand for change been translated on the ground? One sector feeling the reality of Egypt's cataclysmic change is education. The school syllabus has already tackled revolution themes in class discussions & exam papers. ' "Egypt has a lot of work ahead, and should focus on productivity rather than protesting. "Discuss." '
On the eve of January 25th, the anniversary for Egypt's awe-inspiring "Jan 25" Revolution, we look back on a year ripe with burgeoning change and one long stop-starting protest. While the euphoria of 2011 has somewhat receded, we fully expect the Egyptians tomorrow to be giving themselves a pat on their back for what they have achieved- including the primary aim of namely getting rid of Mubarak- and what they have yet to achieve. In the meantime, a reminder of the flashpoints of the revolutionary year of 2011 for Egypt, bearing in mind that the 'revolution' is still ongoing as of January 2012.
Jan 25 Update
Field Marshal and head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Mohamad Tantawi on the eve of the 25th January, 2012 has made some more than nominal concessions - to be active as of the portentous day of January 25th itself. These include the lifting of the state of emergency that has been in place for thirty years, and outlawing detention without charge as well as military trials. All of which were sore points still festering and rankling with citizens who had tirelessly campaigned for these rights to be restored last year. These outstanding issues just this last month were widening a wedge between people and army. This conciliatory or good-will overture may make headway in keeping the people placated, and on better terms with the army, until mid-year presidential elections.