By kkeps @ 2011-02-09 19:15:12
Tahrir Square (Arabic: ميدان التحرير Midan Tahrir, IPA: [meˈdæːn el-, ettæħˈɾiːɾ], English: Liberation Square) is a major public town square in Downtown Cairo, Egypt. The square was originally called Midan Ismaileyya (English: Ismailia Square), after the 19th-century ruler Khedive Ismail, who commissioned the new downtown district's 'Paris on the Nile' design. After the Egyptian Revolution of 1919 the square become widely known as Tahrir (liberation) Square, but the square was not officially renamed until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which changed Egypt from a constitutional monarchy into a republic.
The square became established as a focal point and a symbol for the ongoing Egyptian democracy demonstrations. On the night of 2 February, violence between the pro-Mubarak and pro-democracy demonstrators erupted in the square and its approaches, with pavements being broken up for use as projectiles. Within a week, due to international media coverage, the image and name of Tahrir Square became known worldwide.