Sunday 3 June 2012

Hamdeen Sabahi In An Iconic Image

Following the Mubarak Trial verdict, masses of people poured onto the streets around Egypt in protest of what was seen to be a lenient, politicised, imperfect judgement. Naturally, Tahrir was the heart of the Protests. Revolutionarily-aligned presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabahi, Abdel-Men'eim Abul-Fotouh and Mohammed Morsi poured onto the square to join the protesters. However, one serendipitous photographer snapped a truly iconic image of Hamdeen Sabahi carried on the shoulders of protesters, their hands stretched towards him (between those cheering and those taking videos), while his hands and face were stretched upwards in "prayer for the revolution and for justice," as per the popular narrative. The image, of course, comes at a time where Sabahi is riding high after his unexpected third place victory in the presidential elections, following the two leading controversial candidates, with some now dubbing Sabahi as the de facto figurehead of the Egyptian revolution (a very controversial statement to be sure) and the founder of what could become the new "third current" of Egyptian politics.

What a lucky, iconic shot. This one could go into the history books if Sabahi continues his political rise.

What makes this shot even more iconic is that you can see, in addition to the ubiquitous Egyptian flags, the Free Syrian and Free Libyan flags, a symbol of how Tahrir has become a heart of the Arab revolutionary movement.

Sabahi, and Abul-Fotouh, reportedly fainted after spending some time in Tahrir, allegedly in part due to crowd pressure and the scorching heat. But they are both fine at the moment.

Note: according to legendary twitter master @Hany2M, it was Reuters who took the picture. And I first came across the picture through the amazing @SarahCarr.

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