Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fights continue for third day in Cairo

Fire consumes the Institute for the Advancement of Scientific Research in Cairo. The Institute, next to the Cabinet building, went completely up in flames. Many valuable books and manuscripts got lost. Among them the manuscript of 'Le désciption de l'Egypte' from the time of Napoleon's expedition.   

Protesters and security forces fought in Cairo on Sunday, the third day of clashes that have killed 10 people, while 505 people  were wounded (of whom 384 had been taken to hospitals). An army source said 164 people had been detained.There were no people, killed on Sunday.

Soldiers and police manned barriers on streets around Tahrir Square, with police (Central Security forces) appeared to have taken over the front line from soldiers.Clashes continued mainly on Qasr El-Aini Street and Sheikh Rihan Street.  
Several people tried to mediate a cease fire. The group included recently-elected members of parliament Amr Hamzawy and Mustafa El-Naggar, and prominent activist Wael Ghoneim. Other members of the delegation were parliamentary candidates Ziad Eleimy and Ziad Bahaa El-Din; political analyst and former advisory council member Moatez Abdel Fatah; filmmaker/activist Mohamed Diab; and Muslim preacher Moaz Masoud.According to El-Naggar, the delegation had approached the army and interior ministry in hopes of discussing a proposed ceasefire.

A building nearTahrir with historic archives, was gutted on Saturday by a fire. The Institute for the Advancement of Scientific Research was completely destroyed. The institute contained some 196.000 books, among them many irreplaceable manuscript of rare editions. Some 30.000 volumes were saved by protesters who helped to save as much as possible.Among the manuscript that got lost was the original of Le description de l'Egypte, the compilation of descriptions, engravings and maps by the group of scientists who were brought in by Napoleon when he invaded Egypt in the beginning of the 19th century (1798-1801) and started its modernisation.

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