Every fifteen minutes or so there’s a low humming sound from the crowd, a hooooooooooo, which means something is about to happen near the front. If the hoooooooooooo gets loud enough – and it doesn’t have to get very loud, everyone begins to race off in the opposite direction. Those on mopeds do the same, honking their horns, adding to it all, weaving in and out of the crowd. It’s amazing how fast everyone runs at times like that. Also amazing how hard it is to stay put when a heaving crowd to which you belong runs in a single direction.
A little later everyone stops before heading back. There’s a defiance to this part of the cycle, the return. Everyone seems to walk back a little taller than they were before, hands often aloft, palms open. There’ll be more Allahu Akbars (when everyone’s static in the square the chants are more political).
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