A quiet day on the streets. Although there are demonstrations, and the protesters are still in Tahrir Square, there were no clashes. The army tried to talk to the protesters and ask them to leave, but they shouted "We will not leave! He [Mubarak] has to leave!" and the army negotiator left.
We are hearing of more support for the revolution from prominent figures and organizations every day.
The mood in Tahrir is as celebratory and festive as ever. There are improvised comedy shows, breaking out in songs made of chants and slogans. And the always present funny signs. Egyptians are joke factories in human form, and have been cracking jokes all throughout the revolution. Some are spoken jokes, others are word play signs, others are jokes on signs. I would have put many of those jokes, if they were not too culture specific for an English reader.
With this slow down, I am afraid that there is a stalemate that would make the revolution lose steam, and it becomes a scenario of Yeltsin picking up a future Putin for the regime to continue.
On the political front, Gamal Mubarak, the president's son, and heir apparent, resigned from his position as head of the policy committee of the ruling party. So did Safwat El Sherif, the ex-minister of media, and secretary general. Hossam Badrawi, a ruling party member and seen as a reformer replaced both of them. In a TV interview, I saw him say that this revolution was not of hungry people (thawret al geya3, a long awaited phenomenon in Egypt), but rather by educated and well off people. It seems that party officials are always blind and will continue to be blind to the facts on the ground.
The brainwashing continues by the state propaganda machine, but it seems the tone has changed a bit. A cousin tells me that state TV is showing two pictures now, one of support to Mubarak, as well as "The people want to topple the regime" slogans. So we may be seeing a shift, that may indicate a policy shift, disagreement or power struggle withing the regime.
A friend tells me that state TV is now more "open" and showing both sides to some extent. They have invited some of the activists that were in the demonstrations who spoke relatively freely and asked for Mubarak to leave immediately. My friend's analysis is that there was a policy shift in the ministry of media after the old guard within the ruling party were changed, and that the TV is trying to avoid being blamed in the future for their one sided coverage.
An example is this segment which featured Israa Abdel Fattah, one of the protesters.
There is also a debate going on state TV on how the constitution can be changed, while not allowing too much trust to be put into the ruling regime.
With things turning quiet, this was the first day I have not called my mother or my brother. My brother told me that he is going to work again today, the first day after a full week of closure.
I may be able to return to work after being glued to the TV and the internet since January 27th.