Back in Cairo! In order to get a press accreditation for a field visit with the Ministry of Water during the next days, we went to the Ministry of Information this evening, located in the same building as the (former?) Egyptian state television. The building is located along the Nile, next to the burnt-out former party centre of Mubarak`s NDP.
In front of the building: tanks, soldiers with automatic weapons, barbed wire and an incredible traffic jam. One we have managed to take the unavoidable hurdle of inevitable security men who are busy smoking cigarettes, shouting in telephones and trying to look important, we walk up the stairs of the run-down media station/Ministry.
The atmosphere inside is still revolutionary and hectic, with old papers scattered on the floor, toilets which haven`t been cleaned for ages, smoking men everywhere, people running around, young soldiers hanging around and another soldier with an automatic weapon standing on the balcony, guarding the building. `Since the revolution started on January 25th, we have demonstrations here everyday,´ says Aziz Wael a journalist who just came back two days ago from Bengasi in Libya. `They come here because they want to be sure that the media see their protest.`
It`s understandable that the army is protecting the building: crime is on the rise in Egypt, since the hated police largely left the public domain. Outside, through the open windows, we hear an angry mob of demonstrators yelling their demands. This evening, two groups of demostrators are mixing: personnell of the state television, who want their corrupt chiefs to leave, and policemen who request a salary rise. Why? `That´s logical`, says Wael. `So far, they were used to be corrupt. That doesn`t work anymore in the new situation, they cannot bribe the people anymore, so they want an increase in salary. People hate them now, that`s why you don`t see many police around these days. But the Egyptians will find out again that we need them. Crime is on the rise, Egypt is becoming unsafe. We need a functioning police force for our democracy.`