Revolution Memorial in Tahrir Square

18 Nov


Today, in Tahrir Square a memorial to the revolution has gone up. It has been controversial for many reasons, the first of which is of course the idea of memorialising a revolution that some feel has been diverted or at least not finished.

I am interested in it, however, for its epigraphy. In many ways it reminds me of Roman imperial inscriptions. One thing that people have objected to is the fact that the names of the politicians are in giant script at the top whereas the ‘martyrs of the revolution’ are relegated to small script at the bottom. Some, of course, will also object to the terminology of ‘two revolutions’.

In terms of imperial inscriptions it is also interesting to note that General Sisi the de facto ruler of Egypt at the moment does not appear at all on the plaque. Something which classical epigraphists may find familiar.

What is clear is that public inscriptions are still very important sites of memorial and memorial is still used for a very political purpose. I wonder what people might make of this in 2000 years and whether asking that question might be able to tell us more about how to interpret older inscriptions.

I include a translation, which follows the memorial line for line so you can compare and contrast if you don’t have Arabic.

On a final note, the task of translating inscriptions is here quite difficult. They are filled with specific titles and honorifics and are devoid of verbs. But I have done my best:

In the name of God the Merciful the Benificent

In the era of:

Justice Adly Mansour

President of the Republic

With the Grace of:

Doctor Hazim Biblawi

Head of the parliament

With the attendance of:

General Adel Labib

Minister of Local Development


Doctor Galal Mustafa Said

Governor of Cairo

The foundation stone for this memorial was laid

For the martyrs of the two Revolutions 25th January 2011 and 30th June 2013

This was on Monday the 14th of Muharram 1435 (Islamic) 18/11/2013 (Gregorian)


One Response to “Revolution Memorial in Tahrir Square”


  1. Egypt revolutionaries make return to Tahrir Square | Grumpy Opinions - November 20, 2013

    […] Revolution Memorial in Tahrir Square […]

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