1 Feb 2011

Uprising in Egypt: speaking to opposition figures in Tahrir Square

Am in Cairo’s Freedom Square amid massive crowds. Tens of thousands and more streaming in. But there are reports that police are preventing others from coming in to the centre of the city.

I’ve just run into one of the key protest leaders, Professor Mohammed Abu Al Gharar who is a professor of medicine at Cairo University and a pioneer of test tube baby development. More importantly he has been a political activist against the Mubarak regime for the past 30 years.

Last month he was one of one of hundreds of leading opposition figures who was nominated for an informal parliament. It was this group that formed a committee of 10 (of which he is one) who have been asked to negotiate Mubarak to go. He said they would negotiate with Vice President Omar Suleiman, appointed by Mubarak a few days ago, but that he would only be permitted to remain in any transitional arrangement for a matter of weeks or a few months.

He gave me a fantastic insight into how the protest movement is working. He says only one of the 10 in the committee represent the Muslim Brotherhood and that whatever happens the revolution will not end as an Islamic takeover.

I have also just run into an Egyptian author who was euphoric about what is happening here in the Tahrir Square and like many here hugely optimistic.

But nevertheless there is still a fear that contrary forces may yet attempt to disrupt what is happening.

Sorry for all the detail here but we’re beginning to understand this revolution more clearly with each passing hour.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4