The Road to Tahrir

Assaf, Sherif (et al.), The Road to Tahrir. Front Line Images by Six Young Egyptian Photographers, Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2011

There have been many media sources, artists and people in the Street who have wished to immortalise the Arab Spring so that it remains registered in our collective memory. This is the case of six young Egyptian photographers whose cameras were placed at the service of the revolution, which they accompanied around the clock to capture every possible detail of the events which transformed the lives of the Egyptian people.

The Road to Tahrir is the result of this intense pursuit. The book is a spectacular visual record documenting the places where the revolution took place –Tahrir Square, evidently, but also the surrounding streets and areas-, their symbols and slogans and portraits of some of the revolutions key players, on occasion bearing the shocking reminders of violence on their faces.

The book covers the period from January 25, 2011, the official date on which the Egyptian revolution began, through to the holding of the constitutional referendum on March 19. This visual record illustrates the fact that the Egyptian Arab Spring featured men, women and children, Muslims and Christians, young and old who came together to take control of their future.

In short, using images, The Road to Tahrir narrates a historic moment that cannot be easily summarised in words, a moment that, for the book's authors promises the rise of "a different Egypt, brilliant, democratic and free – the Egypt that was and will be present in Tahrir Square" (p. 147).