An historic New Year’s Eve celebration in Tahrir Square has been described as a real-life fantasy, beyond all expectations.
The event was, for many people, the only way to support one another on a very tough night, after weeks of bloodshed and pain during the Egyptian clashes.
The entire celebrations were broadcast live on SAT-7 over seven hours, starting at 8.00pm and ending at 3.00am on New Year’s Day.
A congregation of about 5,000 people, including church leaders from the three main denominations, began the evening with a service at Kasr El Dobara church. They then processed with candles to the square, where they were joined by many more worshippers.
The programme included praise and worship, prayers from pastors of the different churches, various devotions and short sermons.
There was time for praise to God, cheers for the country and for unity between people of different faiths, and prayers for the injured, the sick, the financial situation and for peace.
After that, many people returned to the church to attend the second part of the service.
One believer at the event said: ‘It is a different feeling to celebrate the New Year outside of the church’s fence. We have always been protected under its ceiling and between its columns. However, the day has come to leave our chairs. It is time for the salt to go out to the world and for the light to lighten up the dark streets so that the maimed and the blind can come in to the big feast.’
A former SAT-7 staff member said: ‘I have spent the best New Year’s Eve of my life. My own eyes have witnessed what I have always thought of as a fantasy. I stood in Tahrir Square, surrounded by 5,000 people from Kasr El Dobara church and thousands of non-Christians. I kept singing out loud. The whole square was singing, uniting in voice and heart, asking for God’s glory. God is near.’