Armed With Brooms, Cairo Cleans Up After the Protests

Now that President Hosni Mubarak has been swept out of office, the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Sqaure are sweeping the city clean. Literally.

The pro-democracy protesters who have called Tahrir Square home for the past 18 days are now cleaning house: sweeping the streets, scrubbing graffiti off walls and bridges, clearing burned cars and garbage and generally trying to restore the city to order.

Volunteers repainted black and white striped street curbs around a monument by the Egyptian Museum, which had been on the front line in street battles between Mubarak’s foes and supporters. Police were starting to move barricades and trying to restore vehicle traffic at Tahrir Square, where many protesters vowed to remain, CNN reported.

“We’re taking care of the square, and then we’ll clean up the whole country,” Mohammed El Tayeb said while standing amid the volunteer cleaning crews sweeping up Tahrir Square. “This is a beautiful country. Now it’s ours and we’re going to take care of it.”

Across the crowded square, young men walked with paper signs taped to their chests that read: “Sorry for the disturbance, we’re building Egypt.” After days of protests that had such names as the “Day of Rage” and “Day of Millions,” today’s gathering was called the “Day of Cleaning,” AOL News said.

Sherif Assaf, 27, a Microsoft employee who showed up with a broom, said the massive and spontaneous clean-up effort, like the protests, had been organised by word of mouth, text messages and social networking websites, Agence France Presse reported.

“We want to prove to the world that we are a very civilised and great nation. We were protesting for political change. Now that we’ve started to change politically, the people themselves are going to change,” he told AFP.  

As CNN aptly noted, it’s a sign that Cairo and the rest of the country are ready to rebuild and get back to work while the country formulates a plan for governance.

Recent Care2 coverage on the Egyptian Protests:

Egypt Military Vows Commitment to Civilian Rule; Protests Reverberate Throughout Middle East

What Lies Ahead For Egypt After Mubarak?

Euphoria Erupts In Tahrir Square As Mubarak Resigns, But What’s Next For Egypt?

Mubarak Surrenders on the Anniversary of the Iran Revolution and the Release of Nelson Mandela

CAIRO: Amir Eid Music Video from Tahrir Square

12 Videos of Poetry, Performance, Music and Dance from Cairo’s Tahrir Square


Photo by sierragoddess


Colin Hope
Colin Hope8 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O8 years ago

They have a big job ahead of them and I wish them the best as they clean up and move on. I'm happy for them since anything worth doing is worth doing right andthe fight for freedom is a worthwhile battle.

dimah b.
dimah b.8 years ago

swept for good!
the good news is that he swept all of the garbage with him...... :)

Tana Williams
Tana Williams8 years ago

Julie W, you said it all. I have been to foreign cities, both in Europe and North Africa, and their streets are so clean. The Metro in Paris was a particular surprise. What the Egyptians are doing never happened in this country. Even all us "peaceniks" never thought to clean up after demonstrations. What is happening in Cairo is the act of a civilized people. It is too bad that not all have the enormous respect that most appeaar to have. 18 items, including one of Tutanhkamen's golden chairs, have disappeared from the museum. I was going to include a little Muslim humor, but I erased it, don't want to insult anyone, suffice it to say that the Muslims in Cairo are mostly Sunni, which says a lot.

Shin Takahashi
Shin Takahashi8 years ago

victory of people power of course.

Tim R.
Tim R8 years ago

Just like my Grandson who (today) just tasted chocolate on Valentines Day. He got his 1st taste, and had a fit when Mom took it away. Same thing goes for Egypt. They got a taste.Liked it. and want more. Who wouldn't?

I just wish that I could sweep that ole B' aka the
" McLaughlin Group" on PBS like thes people have done!


Therese K.

Fantastic!!! It shows what unison can achieve. Thumbs up Egyptians have a happy and successful clean up in every corner of you country. You success is hearth warming.

nora b.
Mora b8 years ago

I wish them a clean sweep.

Ernie Miller
william Miller8 years ago

How Awesome! I wish them the best with their future. With an attitude like that they will do alright I am sure.

Morgan Getham
Morgan Getham8 years ago

Wonderful. I do hope the US will do the right thing and stay neutral in the elections, only offering help if ALL parties to the election feel that they people of Egypt want something from the people of America (a prospect I find VERY unlikely). Otherwise, we watch, pray, and wait, like the rest of the world should be doing. This is THEIR struggle, THEIR victory, and THEIR land. Now ruling it must be up to THEM.

Unfortunately, there are new reports coming from Cairo that looting at the renowned Cairo Museum may have been somewhat more serious than was originally reported. This is a sad thing ... criminals using the cover of this noble movement to rob their nation of an irreplaceable part of its history for their own profit. I hope there will be a full accounting, and even more, that the lost items are eventually restored to their place, so that they may be appreciated by the people of that land and the world.