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Egyptians talk about their experiences and expectations on “Day of Departure”

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NAZLY HUSSEIN, EGYPTIAN PROTESTER: Departure Friday, or Day of Departure, is the day that we are hoping for people to march towards Tahrir. We’re all going to sit here and demand that Mubarak leave. [inaudible] really want is for the entire system and what it represents to come down. People are demanding–expectations and demands are exceeding every day with every act of violence. So right now I don’t think people are going to settle for Mr. Mubarak [inaudible] to step down. I think people are demanding that everything that the system represents comes down. I think there’s going to be a lot of frustration. The system makes a concession that is as–that, again, does not fit their demands. Again, I don’t think people are going settle for just Mubarak stepping down. We’ve all been on the Square for about five days. None of the people who’ve been on the Square for the past five days has left. Very few people have left over the past couple of days. People on the Square are just becoming more persistent. They’re not leaving, even those who are unemployed, because these are here because they believe when the system comes down and when there’s a change in the system, their lives are going to be better. People on the outside, however, are getting tired and are–they’re starting to lose hope, they’re starting to–. I believe they’re being manipulated by the Egyptian media that has been lying to their face for the past week. There’s a lot of propaganda. So there’s a crackdown on human rights activists and international journalists. There was an information blackout last night–nothing was covering the Square. I don’t think this is scaring people off. I think people are more insistent. People on the outside however, as I said, we’re starting to lose their support, because they’re hungry, they’re not being paid. They were supposed to have been paid four days ago; however, many people are not paid. And they’re scared, and they’re thinking, we’ve gotten enough and should just settle for as much. A lot of youth have come back on today, and a lot of people from all walks of life. I look around me and I see everyone–old, young, black, white, Muslim, Christian, veiled, not veiled, with beards, without beards. So I am surrounded by a mixture of people. And it’s been like that for the past ten days. I don’t think much has changed.

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