Egypt’s 25 January Revolution left Egypt’s modern history with many unanswered questions. Who opened the prisons and released scores of prisoners? Who torched police stations? Where did the police go on the night of 28 January? Who were the thousands of armed men who attacked protesters in Tahrir Square on 2 February, 2011? Or, more precisely, who let the camels out?
The disputes over answers for these questions created a conflict over the narrative of the revolution. Pro-Mubarak forces and supporters of the old Egyptian state (including the armed forces, the police, the quasi-governmental religious institution, and the capitalist business sector), argue that foreign elements and the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood were the agitators of the masses, and not the years of corruption, police brutality, and oppressive neo-liberal economic policies.
Armed with sticks, whips, swords, and guns, a group of men riding camels and horses desperately fought against an ever-growing crowd of Egyptians looking for change after decades of iron-fisted rule.
The incident came one day after Mubarak gave a speech describing the protests as attempts to pour “fuel on fire”.
The result of the “Battle of the Camel” left more than 10 protesters killed and hundreds from among both the protesters and the armed “thugs” were arrested. Like many of the cases of killing protesters, the defendants, who included members of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, were acquitted due to “lack of evidence”.