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Parenting during a revolution

Despite of the state of worry that parents have passed through during the 18-day protests, some say their sense of loyalty and patriotism made them allow their children to join protests.

“Youth’s participation in such revolutionary incident instills the sense of patriotism in their souls, a feeling that has been suppressed by the corrupt ruling government,” said Ahmed Asawy, a physician, who used to head to Tahrir Square daily with his three sons.  

Asawy expressed his pride that his sons were among young Egyptians who were able to change history.

Reda Fahmy allowed his 21-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter to take part in 25 January protests after he was sure of their safety.

Fahmy explained that no harassment or riot cases have been reported, which emphasized that protesters were truly keen on abandoning past negative attitudes and creating a more civilized society. Though Reda's son was slightly injured in clashes between protesters and pro-Mubarak thugs, he did not regret permitting him to participate in protests. "After all, if it had not been for the youth, the revolution would have never broken out," he said.

After the brutal attack when pro-Mubarak forces entered the square on camel and horseback, Hussein Marzouk categorically refused to allow his 18-year-old son to demonstrate.

On 2 February, anti-Mubarak protests turned violent when some those forces infiltrated the square, creating disorder and disrupting peaceful protests.

However, Marzouk added that his son joined the neighborhood watch group to defend their area.

On 28 January 2011, Egyptian police withdrew from the streets and prisoners were set free causing an unprecedented state of chaos in Egypt. While malls, banks, shops and government buildings were ransacked everywhere, thugs stormed into different areas, which forced citizens to stay all night protecting their families as well as public and private property.

Afaf, a mother of two girls, ages 19 and 23, said that she urged her daughters to join Tahrir protests. When asked if she was worried about her daughters’ safety, Afaf said confidently: “I believed that God would protect them because they were serving their country and aiming to make a real difference.”

Afaf’s daughters did not only contribute to demonstrations, but also took to the streets to help in cleaning up and painting the pavements of Tahrir Square and Qasr al-Nil bridge after Mubarak resigned last week.

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