After the Harvest Show concluded yesterday, everything started to unravel at Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Cheers went to confusion – and then consternation. President Hosni Mubarak is holding on.
The crowds keep coming and the locations of protest are more.
Friday prayers have ended – and now, this is the most dangerous moment of the January 25 Revolution.
Throughout the day I have been monitoring the situation.
The army is letting the protesters move about and collect at various places. That is good, but the army has also released statements reflecting their support for Mr. Mubarak staying in power to see through the period of transition until the elections to be held in September. But they have also committed to end the 30-year State of Emergency.
The role of the Army in the coming hours will be pivotal. They have previously sided with the people without really offending the status quo or Mubarak, but now it is clear, after their statement released on state TV, that they will follow the lead of Mubarak in his version of an orderly transition.
The massive crowds do not, by all accounts, want a confrontation with the army. It was the army who offered some sense of security when the pro-Mubarak crowds instigated violence against them.
The most important position for the pro-democracy crowd is to remain in the square. This is their leverage for change. The momentum is on their side but the Mubarak regime has thrown up a huge obstacle and they, and now apparently the army, feel that they can wait the activists out.
So what happened last night?
It all looked like it was over for Mubarak and then there apparently was some sort of change of heart. Analysts are even suggesting that Mubarak did a slip on the army itself… why did it take over 12 hours for the army to react?
It may be that the power and fear of Mr. Mubarak and his men is still very much potent to the point that, the country's largest institution can
Clearly the army wants to retain power and credibility among the masses – and the people may wish it so. But if the army finds itself turning on the people – the situation will plunge into a very ugly situation.
Please pray that man, made in God's image, will choose life over death, light over darkness, and patience over retaliation.
Middle East Correspondent