By Safaa Abdoun
CAIRO: As mass protests around the country continue well into week three, Egyptians have come together in unprecedented numbers on many levels, irst and foremost, to call for reforms. But also reborn was a spirit of giving as Egyptians are working in different fields to help those in need at these turbulent times.
Mohammed Rizkallah, a physics teacher at the International School of Choueifat, has set up the “School of the Liberated” in front of the American University in Cairo’s campus in Tahrir Square.
“We set up a station for street kids, as well as roaming teachers that will teach conversational English,” he said.
As Rizkallah said: “It’s time to revolutionize the revolution.” He welcomes volunteers to come help out.
One of Egypt’s leading philanthropists, Niazy Sallam, head of the Egyptian Food Bank, launched two initiatives, one of which is Together for Collaboration, which aims to support those who rely on daily wages and have been affected by the current events. The campaign works on collecting donations to provide them with foodstuffs.
People can help in many ways, besides offering financial support, such as by volunteering at the Food Bank to pack and distribute, explained Sallam.
The second initiative is For you Egypt, which raises money for people injured during the demonstrations who cannot afford medical treatment and surgery. Doctors can participate in this initiative by operating and providing medical treatment.
The Ministry of Health will begin a blood donation drive on Saturday behind Baron Palace in Heliopolis. Hospitals are in dire need of blood at the moment as they are running out of stock due to the high number of casualties during the protests.
Young people are also finding ways to help, with some preparing hot meals that are delivered to the “Tahrir Heroes.” Walking around Tahrir, numerous people can be seen handing out food, drinks and other snacks to the protesters.
“Its my first time to come to Tahrir since the beginning of the demonstrations and I felt I have to bring something to the people who have been sitting here and putting their lives on hold in pursuit of our rights,” said 17-year-old Rania, who came out to Tahrir with her 15-year-old sister and her father to show solidarity and distribute juice.
Others are collecting donations to rebuilt or fix the damage done to orphanages and other infrastructure.
Protesters from different walks of life who are currently residing in the square demanding their social, political and economic rights are even more attached to the place because of the sense of unity there. “There is social justice here,” said Islam Abdel Naby, an elderly man from Shubra who has been in Tahrir for more than a week.
“We are all together here, the Muslim, the Christian, the communist, the Shia, the socialist and there is harmony and everyone is smiling at one another, eating, sleeping and sitting together,” he explained.
Adel El-Rashidy, 53, from Beheira, joined the demonstrators in Tahrir Square on Feb. 2, noting that his delay was not due to his reluctance to join protests, but because he had to make sure his house is safe after the thugs and prisoners were all over the place.
“The Brotherhood and solidarity in the place is amazing,” he said, “We either find people coming to give us food, which is given out of kindness and belief in the cause not as a bribe to make us stay, or we collect money and someone leaves the square to get us something to eat, either way we all share because we are all in this together,” he added.
Along with El-Rashidy and Abdel Naby, Egyptians agree that more important than the spirit at the moment at Tahrir Square is giving people hope.