Produced and Edited by Reed Lindsay


Story Transcript

This is a last warning
To anybody who thinks
That they would become a dictator
Their destiny will be dire
Tahrir Square is our witness
We will demand change
Our silence is no longer possible
The screams of a people
Who were falling apart
The screams of a people
Whose ancestors were mighty
The screams of a people
Who took a vow of vengeance
Against all those who killed us
The sounds of bullets going off
The snipers aiming
After that they say we were sorry
No dear, try telling someone else that bullshit

~~~

SALMAN ABDUL AZIZ AL-BALSHI: My name is Salman Abdul Aziz al-Balshi. I’m a student in the 12th grade living in Nasr City, studying in Sidi Soliman School in Cairo. I started singing rap about six months before the revolution. After January 25 I started writing poetry. I’m writing poetry now as well as songs. I will be 18 next June. My parents are encouraging. I sing about Egypt, about the state we’re in, about the injustice and oppression that we suffered. Let me show you some words. Screams of the people who declared war on those who oppressed them. I describe what happened in the January 25 revolution and the current state we’re in. Because I am in the Square, I even study in the Square. I don’t want to waste my entire school year while I’m in the square.

MOHAMMAD MOHAMMAD YOUSSRY: My name is Mohammad Mohammad Youssry, a student in the Institute of Theatrical Arts studying acting and directing. I also study Hebrew at Cairo University. I started to breakdance when I was 8. Right now I am 21 years old. I have been beatboxing for 4 years. I feel that my journey in life will be better because I became a revolutionary.

~~~

Should I talk about the history?
Or the civilization?
Should I talk about our culture?
Or our art or our architecture?
But the art of treachery
That’s the modern art
That led to all of this
I love you Egypt and every Egyptian adores you
Your hand in ours we will rise high
And transcend with you
May God keep you well for us
And keep us well for you
Die, die we must (for you)

~~~

SALMAN: We came back to Tahrir Square.

YOUSSRY: Everybody is here.

SALMAN: But there are a lot fewer people in the square now because of the elections. But people are going to come back again.

YOUSSRY: People need to know that we are here.

SALMAN: That we’re staying here and we’re not going to leave.

~~~

SALMAN: I go to the Square to voice my opinion and defend my rights, to see where the problem is and to try to fix it. Ever since we came to the square on January 25, people called from their stages and said, people, whoever has an artistic talent, go to the KFC so we can form a group called the Revolutionary Artists Union. We started to get together and form the group, which consists of painters, poets, singers, composers, writers, actors.

YOUSSRY: I tried to do something, but my contribution was artistic. I wanted to send a message through my art. I was detained on March 9 at the museum and got beat up and tortured. Our heads were shaven. We went back to Tahrir Square to battle with the thugs. We were there on April 9 and we were there on November 19 in the battle with the riot police and Interior Ministry. And every battle that goes on in Tahrir Square we take part in, because we in Tahrir are expressing our opinion.

~~~

I will not forget Tahrir Square
No matter how much time has passed
Wherever I may go
Wherever I am
I was asked
How different am I from other Squares
I said cries of pain came out in the Square
That were followed by cries of a newborn
In the Square a word was said
That hadn’t been said in years
We said No to corruption
We said No to thieves
We said No we’ve had enough
And you’ve had enough in 30 years
We said we won’t live like prisoners
We rose and said we are Egyptians
We were defeated before in life
Today we are victorious

~~~

SALMAN: Eyes of Freedom Street.

YOUSSRY: Remember what happened to us last week? We were here a week ago and government was shooting at us, shooting at the revolutionaries. It was a massacre. And the tear gas was like nerve gas.

~~~

REVOLUTIONARY: This one is made in the USA. America. This one was made in 2003. And the expiry date is 2008, because it has a shelf life of five years. Supposedly, after 2008 this should not be used at all.

SALMAN: In our tent, we have a tear gas canister manufactured in 1983. Do you know what that means, made in 1983? Tahrir didn’t change. We’re in the same situation. They removed Mubarak and put in Tantawi. They just changed their faces. The oppression is the same. The killing is still the same. I don’t feel a difference. A friend of mine died in the January 25 revolution and another friend of mine died last Sunday. There’s no difference at all. We didn’t change anything yet. We’re still in the process of change.

YOUSSRY: We in Tahrir demand our rights. We’re the voice of Egypt. Those people in Tahrir who left their homes and jobs and are here in the street, we don’t like being on the street, but we do it because we love Egypt. I will stay in Tahrir until Tantawi steps down. Tantawi should step down and hand over power to a civilian government. After that, we will demand a parliamentary council.

SALMAN: Tantawi has to be convinced that he can no longer stay in power. And they’ve shown that they’re only affected through pressure. So we have to occupy the square and stop traffic. And they will meet our demands and understand. They’re supposed to understand that they can’t stay in power. They should hand over power to a civilian authority so that we can start moving, so that we can start working.

~~~

I’m not afraid of you
Because my heart’s strong as a tank
And let all the people know
That I will not abandon my rights
No more Mr. Nice Guy
My rights, I will get back
I am not buying this small talk
I want to see action
It’s my right!

And those who did it once can do it again
And you’ve seen yourself how
It all can turn against you in seconds
And take care because your power won’t last
Put in your mind that if you don’t do what you must
You will find all the people standing against you
My brother’s blood is precious to me Tantawi
We do not tire
And those who did it once can do it again Tantawi
If their demands are not met.

End of Transcript

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.