Thousands of Egyptian protesters spilled into the streets of Cairo on January 25, 2011, inspired by the overthrow of the government in nearby Tunisia.
Three people died that day and at least 49 were injured, officials reported. More than 800 would lose their lives in the coming weeks.
Egyptian photographer Mahmoud Khaled Mahmoud found himself in the middle of what became known as the Arab Spring.
“The most memorable thing that happened last January is that all Egyptian people became one person,” Mahmoud said in an e-mail translated by CNN. “Despite partisanship, politics or religion, we all had one demand: ‘The people want to bring down the regime.’”
Within 18 days, then-President Hosni Mubarak announced he would relinquish power after nearly three decades of iron rule.
As the streets began to empty out in the months that followed, Mahmoud returned to the locations where he had taken photos during clashes between protesters and pro-government forces.
He said it was challenging getting the same camera angles to make sure his images would line up. Roads that had been closed down during the uprising were now open, so at times he had to stand in the middle of the street with cars flying past.
“I had mixed feelings while remembering my old photos,” he said. “I feel happy sometimes, and other times I feel sad because the revolution’s demands have not been met yet.”
Military rulers have led Egypt since Mubarak’s fall. They have said they will hand over power to a new government once one is in place, but the transition has not been quick or transparent enough for some Egyptians.
“My goal behind this project is to encourage people to continue on with the revolution,” Mahmoud said. “We have to always remember that the revolution is ongoing.”
- Elizabeth I. Johnson, CNN