2011 Egyptian Revolution in the Global Context
Pre-Tahrir July 1952 to January 2011

In the first hour of the new year, an explosion in front of the Saints' Church in Alexandria kills 21 people and injures 90. 

Tahrir 18 days January 2011 to February 2011

Despite the closure of mobile phone networks and the internet to prevent the organisation of protests, hundreds of thousands of people flood out of mosques after prayers on the 'Friday of Rage' and head for Tahrir Square. The same happens in Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, lsmailia, Damietta, Fayoum, Damanhur, Zagazig, Port Said and North Sinai. Over 800 people are martyred and over a thousand more injured across the country. Alexandria is hardest hit, with 87 dead, followed by Suez, with 13. Having failed to deter protesters, the police withdraw from Qasr Al-Nil bridge in Cairo. Demonstrators gain control of Alexandria and Suez and burn local National Democratic Party headquarters and police stations until Hosni Mubarak, in his role as military commander, announces a curfew in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez from 6 pm until 7 am. Tanks roll into the streets to maintain security and are welcomed by protesters who see the army as neutral. The slogan 'The army and the people are one' appears for the first time. Shortly after midnight, Mubarak delivers a speech to the Egyptian people in which he dismisses the government, seemingly unaware that he himself is the target of the revolutionaries' anger.

Early in the morning, heavy sniper fire from the direction of Abdel Moneim Riyad Square kills at least five demonstrators in Tahrir Square, and renewed clashes break out in the surrounding area. Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud places a travel ban and freezes the bank accounts of Ahmed Ezz of the ruling National Democratic Party, former Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly, former Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana, Housing Minister Ahmad Al-Maghribi, and a number of other regime figures. Four thousands take to the streets in Suez to demand Mubarak's resignation. Fifteen are killed and 150 injured by police forces in Damanhur prison, where prisoners are evacuated and then fired upon as they reach the doors of the prison. Police storms Hisham Mubarak Law Centre, a human rights NGO, and arrests all those present. 

Flouting the curfew, demonstrators pour into Tahrir Square in the early hours of the morning to demand Mubarak's resignation, and violent clashes with police take place in front of the Interior Ministry, where three people are martyred and scores more injured. The military intervenes with armoured vehicles and take control of the situation. Mubarak appoints Omar Suleiman, Intelligence Chief and close ally, as his first-ever vice-president, and assigns former Civil Aviation Minister and Commander of the Air Force Ahmed Shafik the task of forming a new government. From Berlin, the German, French and British leaders express their concern at the situation in Egypt, and Britain and the USA advise their citizens to leave. A sense of chaos sweeps the country after the police withdrawal and news of uprisings in the prisons of Abu Zaabal, Tora, Fayoum, and Qata. General Mohammed Al-Batran of the Prison Authority is martyred in Qata, and Habib Al-Adly and his officers are subsequently accused of his murder. Al-Batran is understood to have disobeyed orders to release prisoners - orders by the Interior Minister in a deliberate attempt to cause chaos. Young people form Popular Committees to protect properties and maintain security in the streets. Egyptian television announces extension of the curfew, which will henceforth last from 4 pm until 8 am. Bedouins blow up the local State Security headquarters in Al-Arish, Sinai, killing one person and wounding twelve. Egyptian television announces the resignation of Ahmed Ezz, member of the National Democratic Party's policies secretariat.

Huge numbers of Egyptians respond to calls by the Facebook page 'We are all Khaled Said' to sabotage National Police Day. Demonstrations erupt across Cairo and Giza, heading for Tahrir Square. Protests also take place in Suez, lsmailia, Alexandria, Mansoura, Tanta and Aswan. Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly blames demonstrations on the banned Muslim Brotherhood, who deny responsibility. Mobile phone networks are cut off in the vicinity of Tahrir Square. At six in the evening, demonstrators gather around a fire lit by the Ultras at the entrance to Qasr al-Aini street, united under the slogans, "The people want the fall of the regime" and "Bread, freedom, human dignity". A state of quiet anticipation pervades the square until midnight, when police attack demonstrators with water hoses and tear gas. The protesters disperse into small groups roaming the streets of downtown Cairo, forming demonstrations which move about the city until daybreak. The first martyr of the Egyptian revolution falls in Suez. 

Crowds gather in Tahrir Square for the ninth consecutive day in response to calls for another million­-strong march to reject Mubarak's speech. Pro-Mubarak groups appear for the first time since the outbreak of the revolution in Mustafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandiseen to demand a return to stability and to rouse support for the President following his recent speech. They are joined by a number of artists, media personalities and footballers. Hundreds of regime thugs brandishing swords, canes and bayonets enter Tahrir Square on horseback and camelback to attack the revolutionaries. The army does not intervene. Demonstrators capture the horses and camels, and repel the attackers to the edges of the square, where the two sides pelt each other with rocks in back-and-forth clashes which last until the following morning. The centre of the square is transformed into a field hospital packed with casualties. Later on, Mubarak supporters positioned on the rooftops of buildings surrounding the square hurl molotov cocktails and chunks of cement onto protestors, and the Egyptian Museum building is also damaged. Independent revolutionaries and Salafists fight in the front lines to defend the square with their lives, later joined by the Ultras then Muslim Brotherhood youth. The military, claiming neutrality, refuse to intervene, yet fire into the air to break up demonstrations. Protesters insist the army permitted the armed thugs to enter the square and that the attackers were police in civilian clothing, publishing photos of confiscated police IDs and NDP membership cards on YouTube. Health sources announce eleven dead and 1500 injured in the day's battle, many of whom remain in a critical condition. Subsequent investigations reveal the involvement of senior regime figures, NDP members and businessmen in the day's attacks on the revolutionaries, and the event comes to be known as the 'Battle of the Camel'. Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement rejects US and European calls for immediate political transition. 

Huge demonstrations continue in Cairo and other cities. The regime announces the resignation of Gamal Mubarak and Safwat Al-Sherif from the NDP executive committee and the appointment of Hossam Badrawi as Secretary General. Former Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly and three of his aides are placed under house arrest. The Egypt-Jordan gas pipeline is blown up and Israel decides to temporarily halt Egyptian gas imports. A security source in North Sinai claims that foreign elements were involved in planning the explosion. The Ministry of Health announces that eleven people have died since the first day of the revolution; UNESCO says the death toll throughout the country may be as high as 300, whilst Reuters reports that it has counted 150 dead in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez alone. Economists value the Mubarak family's wealth at approximately 70 billion US dollars, most of which is concentrated in British and Swiss bank accounts and property in London, New York and Los Angeles. A number of traditional opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and various independent figures, attend a national dialogue meeting with vice­president Omar Suliman in which it is agreed that a committee for constitutional reform is to be formed within months. Suliman also agrees to work towards ending emergency law, to form a national follow-up committee to implement reforms, to lift restrictions on the media and communication, and to pursue those accused of corruption. Revolutionaries reject the dialogue with Suliman. Suliman rejects calls by young revolutionaries for Mubarak to transfer power to his vice-president. Banks reopen after a week's closure. Prayers for the martyrs are performed in Tahrir Square, and Christians perform Sunday mass in the presence of thousands of Muslims. 

SCAF - Supreme Council of Armed Forces February 2011 to June 2012

The Mubarak trial prosecution says Habib Al-Adly and his aides instigated the murder of protesters.

Calls for a million-strong demonstration on the 3rd under the slogan 'The President First'; the Brotherhood and Salafists refuse to join. Football spectators in Port Said stadium storm the pitch after a match between Ahly and Masry Clubs. Security at the match make no attempt to control the crowds. The ensuing massacre leaves 77 Ahly Ultras dead and hundreds wounded. The Ultras' own estimates place the death toll at closer to 200, whilst the Ministry of Health says it is 74.  That night, thousands of protestors march through the streets of Cairo and 30,000 gather at the central railway station to receive the bodies and the wounded with chants of "We will claim your rights, we will fulfill your dreams ... Down, down with military rule!" 

The Supreme Constitutional Court announces that it will hear the cases of both the isolation law and the law which governed last year's parliamentary elections on June 14th. Giza Criminal Court acquits 13 policemen of varying ranks of charged with killing protesters on the 28th January 2011. Marches across the country commemorate the death of Khaled Said, who was beaten to death by the police in 2010, sparking mass outrage at state brutality. His hometown  Alexandria sees the biggest demonstration.

Huge demonstrations make their way from Ahly Club ground to the Interior Ministry, and by the evening tear gas has returned to the streets where another episode of battles between revolutionaries and security forces is playing out in the streets surrounding the Ministry. Similar scenes ensue in Alexandria and Suez. The battle continues for four days. Security forces use tear gas, birdshot, live ammunition, leaving 15 dead and thousands wounded. Protesters tear away the barbed wire and pull down the barricades that the army have built in Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Al-Falaki Street. 

The Criminal Court demands the presence of the American defendants in an early hearing of the foreign funding case. A court once again acquits an officer accused of killing protesters on 28 January 2011 in Shurabeya.

Sharaf reassures Egyptians of his commitment to replacing the government in accordance with the revolutionaries' demands, to reforming the media, and the removal and swift trial of all officers accused of the killing of demonstrators.


The Civil Aviation Ministry says that permission for the landing and take-off of the plane that transported the accused US citizens out of the country was granted by SCAF. The Minister for Civil Aviation explains that he has no jurisdiction over military planes, or planes belonging to foreign governments. Hundreds of Ultras gather at Zaafarana Palace to demand justice for the martyrs. The Education Ministry circulates a memo to schools and school boards prohibiting student political activity and warning against the teaching of any subjects which involve mention of the deposed president, so as to avoid 'disagreements between pupils'. Prime Minister Ganzouri again denies responsibility for releasing the foreign suspects. Within the judicial community, there are calls to withdraw confidence from Abd AI-Mu'izz Ibrahim, President of the Court of Appeals, who ordered their release, for violating 'accepted norms' of judicial practice. Abd Al-Mu’izz Ibrahim first came to public attention for his role in supervising the parliamentary elections.

A large demonstration marches from Tahrir Square to the High Court building in protest against the ongoing trials of civilians in military courts, and a million-strong demonstration reclaims Tahrir Square from the police, who have occupied it throughout Ramadan and the Eid holidays. The demonstrators demand a speedy return to civilian rule and fulfillment of the revolution's demands. Particularly prominent in the demonstration are groups of Ultras, after recent clashes between the Ahly Ultras with Central Security forces see a number of Ultras members arrested. The Israeli embassy is besieged by demonstrators angry at the death of two Egyptian border soldiers at Israeli hands and the insulting response of the government and the military council. The protesters destroy the wall built by the military and storm the building ultimately causing the ambassador to leave Egypt. Violent confrontations between demonstrators, the army and security forces in front of Giza Security Directorate leave one dead and tens injured, and demonstrators embark upon a sit-in in front of the Israeli embassy.

The Elections Commission definitively announce the thirteen candidates who are to contest the presidential election, which many consider to be the first of its kind in Egyptian history. Suez bids farewell to Adel Zakaria, a young revolutionary shot in the shoulder and back on January 28th 2011 who suffered from his wounds until his death.

A peaceful demonstration in front of the Interior Ministry commemorates the death of martyr Khaled Said. The Freedom and Justice Party receives their license; the Salafit AI-Nour Party receives theirs a week later.


The day is free from confrontations, but marked by the death of Mohamed Mostafa, a young engineering student at Ein Shams University, national tennis player and member of the Ahly Ultras. He dies from a gunshot wound sustained the previous day, bringing the death toll to 15.  Following Mostafa's funeral, demonstrations organized by students at Ein Shams University spread to other universities. In the stands at Ahly's next match, the Ultras create an enormous portrait of the martyr with their bodies, and chants denouncing the military and demanding freedom resound throughout the match. SCAF warns of plots to bring down the state.

Students at the German University in Cairo go on hunger strike to protest against the expulsion of five of their classmates who demonstrated to demand justice for the Port Said martyrs. Videos made by the 'Liars' campaign are screened on campus.

The commander of Azbakiyya Police Station attacks a minibus driver and allows his staff to torture the man to death. Locals attack the police station with rocks and molotov cocktails, and the ensuing confrontations leave six soldiers and 24 locals injured.


SCAF deploys its own buses to the streets to replace those of the Public Transport Authority, whose drivers have been on strike since March 17th. The strikers' demands have not been met. Thousands of Masry Club supporters gather outside the football stadium in Port Said to protest against the Football Union's decision to suspend the club's activities for two years. Clashes with the army lead to one fatality and 68 casualties. Cairo University accuses the students demonstrating over student union election issues of holding a number of public figures captive in the central university building. In response, the students escalate their the protest, staging a vigil to demand the resignation of the president of the university.

The Muslim Brotherhood nominate Mohamed Morsi as a backup candidate in case Khairat AI-Shater is disqualified due to his criminal record. The Elections Commission close registration just twenty minutes after Omar Suleiman submits his papers. A total of 23 candidates are set to run in the presidential election. The Ahly Ultras, still demonstrating outside Parliament, decide to end their sit-in and participate in actions seeking justice for the martyrs.

Witnesses come forward to Al-Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture with testimonies of a mass grave in Hykestep Military Base containing the bodies of 17 martyrs who were killed during an attempt to transfer them to Al-Wadi Al-Gadeed prison camp.

A peaceful march of Copts from Shubra to Maspiro is attacked by the military, who run protesters over with armoured cars and use live ammunition against them. 7 Copts are martyred and hundreds injured. The state media incites their audiences against the Coptic protesters and call upon honourable citizens to support the army in Maspiro. SCAF denies running protesters over or using live bullets, blaming the violence on a "third party," and promises an investigation.

A mass funeral for the Maspiro martyrs takes place at St. Mark's Cathedral in Abassiya, with the name of martyr Mina Daniel becoming particularly symbolic of the massacre. The mass ends with a march to Tahrir Square.

Confrontations carry on throughout the day, whilst demonstrators continue to pour into Tahrir Square. Doctors at the field hospital say the tear gas currently being used is stronger than that used so far; whilst many have been badly injured by birdshot, particularly in the eyes, others have sustained bullet wounds. SCAF releases a statement inviting political forces to discuss how best to resolve the crisis, and expresses regret at the deaths and injuries of protesters. They ask for caution and calm to assist the peaceful transition to democracy. The council also order the Interior Ministry to set up a committee to investigate the recent violence. 130 diplomats sign a statement demanding that the military hand over power by the end of 2012.


Marches in Port Said declare security responsible for the stadium massacre and demand an end to military rule. They are joined by artists and activists, amongst them MP Ziad Al-Elaimy, who criticizes Tantawi in a manner which the SCAF and other deputies deem unacceptable. They demand he be summoned for interrogation.

Confrontations continue in Sheikh Rihan Street, Tahrir Square and Qasr Al-Aini Street. Central Security Forces replace the army in Sheikh Rihan Street. Demonstrators attempt to save precious books from the fire at the lnstitut d'Egypte. The military arrests 164 people and transfers them to the Public Prosecution Office to face charges of rioting, attacking security forces and vandalizing a public building. One of those arrested dies of his wounds whilst in detention. Tantawi visits some of the wounded at the Armed Forces Medical Complex, only to be thrown out by a furious female patient. Politicians and newly-elected parliamentarians attempt to intervene in confrontations between revolutionaries and security forces, but are unsuccessful.

Hamdeen Sabahi, Aboul Fotouh and Morsi each visit Tahrir and affirm their commitment to working together to further the revolution and ensure Ahmed Shafik is barred from contesting the upcoming runoff. Huge crowds of Ahly and Zamalek ultras join the demonstrations in Tahrir to denounce the acquittal officials involved in the killing of protesters. Mona Seif and Alaa Abd El Fattah, accused of participating in the ransacking of Shafik's camp headquarters, are released.

Defence council in the Maspiro martyrs case quits after twelve sessions, accusing the military tribunal of being 'uninterested in achieving justice' and calling instead for the formation of an independent civilian inquiry into the events.

Registration of candidates for the parliamentary elections begins. The military council denies the killing of protestors, instead accusing "enemies of the revolution."


The sit-ins in Tahrir Square and Arbaeen Square, Suez enter their second day. Hamdeen Sabbahi, Abul Fotouh and Morsi each visit Tahrir and affirm their commitment to working together to further the revolution and ensure Ahmed Shafik is barred from contesting the upcoming runoff.  Huge crowds of Ahly and Zamalek ultras join the demonstrations in Tahrir to denounce the acquittal officials involved in the killing of protesters.  Mona Seif and Alaa Abdel Fattah, accused of participating in the ransacking of Shafik's camp headquarters, are released.

Tens of thousands flock to Tahrir Square and to town squares around the country to stand by the revolutionaries in a demonstration for "national salvation." In a televised speech, Tantawi affirms that the armed forces do not see themselves as an alternative to a democratically elected government, and claims that the military have kept their promise never to fire on the people. The army remains committed, he says, to holding parliamentary elections, inaugurating the new constitution, and finally holding presidential elections, as was decided by the 19th of March referendum. He alludes to the possibility of a referendum on SCAF remaining in power. The Military Council accepts the resignation of Sharaf's government.The military council announces that parliamentary elections are on timetable and presidential elections will take place no later than the end of June 2012. In message number 82 on SCAF's Facebook page, Tantawi announces he is transferring responsibility for investigations into the events of Maspiro and Mohamed Mahmoud Street from the Military Prosecutor to the civilian Public Prosecution Office.

The inquiry into the deaths of demonstrators, established by former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, reveals that 846 people have died and at least 6,400 have been injured to date. The committee finds Habib Al-Adly, who authorized the use of live ammunition against demonstrators in 16 governorates, responsible for the deaths. 

The Prosecution demands the death sentence for Mubarak and his aides on charges of killing the protesters. The Interior Ministry announces that National Police Day is to be merged with a celebration of the January 25th revolution. Revolutionaries announce that the "Liars" campaign will continue, and rally support for an anti-SCAF protest on January 25th through night-time marches. In lmbaba, a public meeting for Ahmed Shafik's presidential campaign ends in chaos when locals throw chairs at the former prime minister, forcing him to flee.

The military council held a press conference in which they denied all accusations of violence against protesters and restated their commitment to a democratic transition. They express regret over recent civilian deaths and blame unnamed forces for attempting to incite conflict. General Adel Emara threatens to remove journalists from the conference for taking too long in their questions. A group of political movements organize a counterconference to show video evidence of the military's crimes throughout the events of recent days.


Women demonstrators march from Mustafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandiseen to Tahrir Square calling for retribution and the immediate handover of power. Field Marshal Tantawi pre-empts the following day's demonstrations by announcing the expiry of Emergency Law, except in the of cases of 'thuggery.'

Students from Cairo, Ein Shams, Helwan and Al-Azhar Universities march to the Ministry of Defence, whilst tens of thousands join an Ultras march from Ahly Club ground to the Attorney General’s office to demand that the martyrs’ murderers be brought to justice. The Interior Minister performs poorly in the first parliamentary delegation, Tantawi swears on his commitment to a transition of power by June 30th.

Central Security vehicles attempting to pass through the street where the Cabinet building is located are obstructed by the sit-in and forced to turn back. A nineteen-year-old is killed by a bullet to the groin fired by the retreating police.

At dawn on Friday, military forces guarding the Parliament and the Shura Council kidnap a demonstrator from the sit-in and return him after brutal torture. Demonstrators pelt the soldiers with stones, and are met with a violent response. The protesters' tents are burnt down and intermittent confrontations last all day; the army use water hoses and clubs, and hurl rocks onto protesters from on top of public buildings. By the evening, 255 are injured and three martyred, amongst them Sheikh Emad Effat, a senior cleric at Dar Al-lftaa (the AI-Azhar body which issues religious edicts) who is killed by a bullet to the chest. The military police target field hospitals and forcibly remove journalists and television crews, throwing their cameras from the balconies of buildings.

Muslim Brotherhood June 2012 to July 2013