Searing heat newest challenge for Cairo protesters

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 21, 2011 1:20 PM
Searing heat newest challenge for Cairo protesters

Protesters camped out in Cairo's central Tahrir Square who have braved government crackdowns and attacks by knife-wielding thugs now face a new challenge: searing summer heat.

Regular midday temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) make it much harder for protesters to continue their sit-in in the square.

The protesters say they maintain their presence to put pressure the military council that has ruled Egypt since 18 days of mass protest pushed President Hosni Mubarak from power on Feb. 11.

A walk through the tent camp at the square's center reveals how the protesters deal with the heat. One man snoozes in the shade. Fans have sprung up all over, powered by portable generators or electricity stolen from lampposts. Those without fans drink ice-cold water that vendors tote in.

The protesters say they'll remain until all their demands are met.

But yet another challenge looms. The holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, starts in early August _ usually Egypt's hottest month.