Nightly News | February 06, 2011
LESTER HOLT, anchor (Amman, Jordan): Tahrir Square remains the physical center of the reform movement, but tonight the feeling there has changed as the government, at least to some extent, has listened to the protesters. NBC 's Ron Allen spent the day there for us.
RON ALLEN reporting: Everyone arriving at Tahrir Square gets a hero's welcome. For nearly two weeks, the epicenter of an unprecedented protest that at times has become a battlefield. And now, with the military allowing just about anyone to join in, the square has become the destination in Cairo for what often looks and feels like a festival. When you walk inside, it's almost like another world, much different from the streets outside, and that's what the protesters say they're trying to create, a world in here that's full of optimism and hope.
Mr. TAREK SHALABY: It could take ages, I mean, that's true, but we're very optimistic, and that's the whole thing of like -- that's the idea of the spirit of the revolution.
ALLEN: Tarek Shalaby , a 26-year-old social media consultant, belongs to the generation that started much of this. Now, with his mom and a few friends at a tent called Freedom Motel , he's determined to see it through.
Mr. SHALABY: Their trick is just to play the waiting game and hope that people here who aren't well off, lose momentum, but that's obviously not going to work because there is a lot of people who hate this guy.
ALLEN: The neighborhood is expanding, the tents multiplying. You can stay in touch with the world beyond by charging your phone with wires rigged from a light pole. Vendors are everywhere. It's the best place for business. Can't find something? There's a lost and found. There's a big celebration, but there's also some measure of caution. On the edge of the square, you find piles of rocks. People are ready, just in case there's another big fight. Medics treat the wounded.
Mr. MOHAMED AL-MASRI:
ALLEN: 'We were out on the front lines, just a few of us,' Mohamed al-Masri said, recalling the day he got hit when the horses raced through the square. They keep their defenses up, ever on guard against the military trying to drive them out.
Unidentified Man: They slept underneath the tank, to force the soldiers not to move their tank.
ALLEN: As evening fell, the Shalabys were still out there, Tarek planning to spend yet another night, and then join the relentless throngs who say they'll keep up the fight here until Liberation Square lives up to its name. Ron Allen ,