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'I have come here to see the new birth of Egypt'

By Yuka Tachibana, NBC News Producer
CAIRO – Among the thousands of protesters who were back at Tahrir Square Wednesday morning was electrical engineer Mohammad Hassan, walking hand in hand with his two children.
 
Hassan said he had never taken part in any kind of political protest until he saw what was happening in Tahrir Square. Wednesday was his third visit.

Yuka Tachibana / NBC News

The Hassan family, Mariyam, Mohammad, and Hassan Ahmad, visit Tahrir Square on Wednesday.

Despite last week’s violence, he said the square was now safe enough to come with his children. 

Like his fellow protesters, Hassan said he was fed up with the corruption and injustice. “We must create a new Egypt for our children,” he said.


Earlier in the morning, his daughter Mariyam, 11, recited a poem mourning those who lost their lives during the violence at the square last week.

And his son, Hassan Ahmad, 13, pulled out a handwritten message in English which he read to me: “Egypt is the most beautiful nation in the world with the best people in the world … I have come here to see the new birth of Egypt and I want for my country, for our future, to be best by freedom, develop and democracy.” (See a short video of his speech above).

Despite the hundreds of thousands of people who have traipsed through this square over the last 16 days of protests and the hundreds who stay through the night in their makeshift tents, there is order in the square.

Yuka Tachibana / NBC News

Mariyam Hassan, 11, visits Cairo's Tahrir Square with her father and brother on Wednesday.

Garbage is collected regularly – trash bins are marked for organic and non-organic waste – and street cleaners have been sweeping the square. There are first aid centers where protesters can have their cuts and bruises looked after and there is even a well-organized lost-and-found center. 

The atmosphere is jovial. Like the Hassan family, there were hundreds of other families with young children, some joining in the chants and marches, others simply strolling through the square.

Hassan said he and the kids were going to listen to the speeches.

But they were also going to stay and have lunch at the square – there are certainly plenty of food stalls to choose from – and simply enjoy the day.