Pete WillowsAugust 20, 2011Word count: about 240.
A Lens on the Revolution
The Road to Tahrir: front line images by Six Young Egyptian Photographers
. 2011. TheAmerican University in Cairo Press: Cairo, New York. ISBN 978 977 416 514 6. Dar el Kutub No. 5654/11.Photographers: Sherif Assaf, Omar Attia, Rehab K. El Dalil, Timothy Kaldas, Zee Mo & Monir El-Shazly.Text by Omar Attia and Timothy Kaldas.This gripping photo essay of the January 25 Revolution in Egypt was shot by and narrated fromthe perspective of six young Egyptians whom, were shoulder to shoulder with the protesters,revolutionaries, police and armed forces.As the world learnt, while watching these dramatic and inspiring events unfold, Tahrir translatesas ‘liberation’, a meaning which, was not lost on the participants of this revolution.Though commonly called a revolution, this was a leaderless secular uprising—the photoscapturing the intense emotional responses on the faces of those involved.This book is arranged in chronological order, starting on the 25
of January, The Day of Revolt,and finishing on the 19
of March, with the Constitutional Referendum.Some of the more moving photos in this essay document the Battle of the Camel, when
[‘thugs’ in Egyptian Arabic] charged Tahrir Square riding camels and horses, and while brandishing batons, whips and chains. The text tells us of the horrid injuries the peaceful protesters suffered, including blinding and disfigurement. One wonders how these ruraluneducated thugs, bereft of political ideology, intellect and compassion, were able to organiseand make their way into central metropolitan Cairo.But this book has inspiring images as well, including the adulation and emotional intoxicationthat came with the ultimate goal of the uprising, which was the resignation of long-time EgyptianPresident, Hosni Mubarak.The book is available at the American University in Cairo Bookstore, in Midan al-Tahrir.