Middle East

Egypt unrest: 'Stand down now'

Egypt's most prominent opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, says it is joining talks with the government on the way ahead for the country.

Opposition supporters still occupy Cairo's Tahrir Square, almost two weeks after demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak began.

Readers of the BBC News website have been sharing their stories about the protests and the Mubarak presidency.

Views from around Egypt

Mosa'ab Elshamy, Cairo

I want President Mubarak to stand down now.

I have been sleeping in a tent here in Tahrir Square for the last three nights.

The conditions are not bad - it's a little cold at night but we have plenty of food, and the injured are being treated.

This morning things became a little tense.

The army moved in with their tanks and tried to take down the barbed wire that was erected to protect us from the pro-Mubarak supporters gathered outside.

But people lay down in front of the tanks and stopped them from moving.

Everyone here is remaining totally peaceful. There haven't been any clashes. We are trying to be respectful, as the army have been for the last two days.

But it will be interesting to see what the army do next. This could be Mubarak's last attempt to remove us.

We are not getting fed up. In fact we are getting more and more accustomed to life in the square, the tents and the cold.

Many people say they are ready to die here.

Nora Shalaby, Cairo

We are protesting against President Mubarak. I am in Tahrir Square, in Cairo on the roundabout where my brother has been camping.

Image caption Protesters hang an effigy of President Mubarak.

There is a festival atmosphere - people are singing and chanting. There are not as many people here as Friday - but still the mood is very good.

The big difference today is the army - they are being much more stringent at the checkpoints.

Thousands of people have been stuck outside waiting to get into the demonstration.

The army are only letting one person in at a time - not like yesterday when the queue was flowing. Today, people have been waiting hours.

I don't know if this is a deliberate tactic to frustrate us, or if the soldiers are just being extra cautious about weapons.

My cousin had bread and cheese and they took the cheese from him. They said it might be poisoned. We are only allowed to bring bread and tinned food.

I have not seen any pro-Mubarak supporters inside the protest, but there was a group of about 50 gathered around the second checkpoint, holding up posters.

It was obvious they were trying to intimidate us.

But that is not going to affect us here in Tahrir Square. We are going to continue our protest.

I don't know if the army will try to evacuate us. But I think I will stay here tonight to defend the square. I don't usually sleep here, but tonight I feel I need to stay.

Over the loudspeakers we heard people saying that soon the banks will re-open and the curfew will end - Cairo will go back to work.

Claire Nassar, Dahab

We have not had any protests, looting or violence here and for the most part all our police stayed in their posts as normal.

Things are getting very eerie and peculiar in Dahab, on the Sinai Peninsula.

Image caption Tourists have deserted Dahab on the Gulf of Aqaba

I run a tourist lodge lodge here and the town is almost still and unbelievably quiet.

We don't have any petrol - there has been none at the petrol stations for days now.

So there are barely any cars on the roads.

No-one can buy any phone credit, so no phones are ringing.

The tourists have nearly all left now.

Who would want to stay when there's no cash in the ATMs, and no fresh food?

Restaurants are closing because they're out of supplies.

I am beginning to feel like we are the extremities, the ones who die first when the blood supply is cut off.

We are really beginning to suffer, and the future will be very bleak indeed if things don't stabilise quickly.

Yehia Hassaan, Alexandria

I'm lucky, the protests are less than 200 metres from where I live, so I've been able to go home to guard my neighbourhood and then take part in the protests.

Image caption Yehia Hassaan: "The army are helping but only if something happens."

My shift protecting the neighbourhood was from 0500 to 0700. We are very organised.

The army are helping on the night watch by standing with us and giving us advice.

They are only taking part if something happens, like if we catch someone and they need to take them away.

There were about 20,000 protesting in Alexandria on Friday, by my estimation.

The numbers were going down later in the evening, but that was to be expected.

We're not aware of what is going on elsewhere in the country. But we do hear about Cairo on satellite news.

I have noticed that the price of bread has gone up, but where I live there are lots of shops so I'm not seeing shortages.

I'm not sure what will happen next now that everybody agrees that Mubarak must go.

I'm certain there will be more protests but I don't know how many more people will come out.

Many people are now more concerned about protecting their families and homes, rather than joining the protests.

Rascha Ragheb, Cairo

I want to tell the world that there are millions of people in Egypt who want to make this system change gradually.

We want a peaceful transition and we are prepared to die to ensure it happens.

We have been living without democracy for so many years, we need time to get used to the idea that we have a choice.

If Mubarak were to leave now our new leader would be elected according to the current constitution. But the constitution needs to change.

We need to put the country in order first. We need to wait.

We need stability to be able to do things in a different way.

Yes we want another government, but we don't need it right now.

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