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Massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2013, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military and taken into custody. Photograph by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
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July 3, 2013. Fireworks light the sky after massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Cairo, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military and taken into custody.Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
Massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2013, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military and taken into custody. Photograph by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
Massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2013, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military and taken into custody. Photograph by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
Massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2013, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military and taken into custody. Photograph by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
Cairo Egypt July 05 2013:Backers of ousted President Mohamed Morsi helped an injured man near Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo.Morci supporters surround a man who has been shot by the military. His name is Mohammed Suphi Mohammed Assayid Ali.He was shot when hecrossed the road to try to put the poster of Morci on the barbed wire next to the Republican Guard barracks, the last known location of the deposed President."
Cairo Egypt July 05 2013:A man was shot by Egyptian troops, on Friday.Egyptian troops opened fire on mostly Islamist protesters marching on a Republican Guard headquartersMorci supporters surround a man who has been shot by the military. His name is Mohammed Suphi Mohammed Assayid Ali.He was shot when hecrossed the road to try to put the poster of Morci on the barbed wire next to the Republican Guard barracks, the last known location of the deposed President."
KOY201307060121-0123Cairo Egypt July 05 2013:Pro-Morsi demonstration outside the Republican Guard barracks, the last known location of the deposed President, was bitter and tense
Cairo Egypt July 05 2013:Egyptian security forces take position outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard in CairoA poster of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is placed on a barbed wire outside the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard
Cairo Egypt July 05 2013:The anti-Morsi protestors with the soldiers on top of the armoredvehicles drive through the 6th October Bridge.The Cairo clashes abated, at least temporarily, after a half dozen armoredvehicles full of soldiers with shotguns and tear gas deployed on thebridge and headed toward the pro-Morsi crowd, firing their weapons.
Cairo Egypt July 05 2013:The anti-Morsi protestors celebrate on the 6th October Bridge.
Cairo Egypt July 05 2013:The anti-Morsi protestors hurl rocks, Molotov cocktails and fireworks atbackers of ousted President Mohamed MorsiThousands of Islamists who had been protesting elsewhere in the citymarched across the 6th October Bridge intending to enter Tahrir Square,but crowds celebrating the military¹s removal of Mr. Morsi rushed to keepthem out.Rival crowds of protesters hurled rocks, missiles, Molotov cocktails andfireworks at each other in Tahrir Square, the spiritual center of Egypt¹s2011 revolution, and the 6th October Bridge, a heavily traveled elevatedhighway that spans the Nile River.
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Cairo Egypt July 07 2013:Anti-Morsi supporters streamed in from different parts of the city to gather in a festival-like atmosphere of music, food and blaring horns.The demonstrators, including many youth activists and liberal opposition groups, accused Morsi of attempting to hijack the Egyptian revolution and impose an Islamist agenda on the nation.The military, which has sided with the anti-Morsi demonstrators, did its part to stoke patriotic passions.Each time military helicopters flew above the square, demonstrators released deafening cheers. Some held up posters of army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.Several times, air force jets streaked by, leaving trails of red, white and black smoke, the colors of the Egyptian flag.
Cairo Egypt July 07 2013:Anti-Morsi supporters streamed in from different parts of the city to gather in a festival-like atmosphere of music, food and blaring horns.The demonstrators, including many youth activists and liberal opposition groups, accused Morsi of attempting to hijack the Egyptian revolution and impose an Islamist agenda on the nation.The military, which has sided with the anti-Morsi demonstrators, did its part to stoke patriotic passions.Each time military helicopters flew above the square, demonstrators released deafening cheers. Some held up posters of army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.Several times, air force jets streaked by, leaving trails of red, white and black smoke, the colors of the Egyptian flag.
Cairo Egypt July 08 2013:Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi attend a rally in support of the former Islamist leader outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on July 8, 2013
Cairo Egypt July 08 2013:An injured Morsi supporter was brought to the hospital
Cairo Egypt July 09 2013:Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi protest in Nasr City
Cairo Egypt July 08 2013:Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi attend a rally in support of the former Islamist leader outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on July 8, 2013
Massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2013, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military and taken into custody. Photograph by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
July 3, 2013. Fireworks light the sky after massive demonstrations turned to celebration in and around Tahrir Square, Ca
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Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
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Continuing Chaos in Tahrir Square: Photographs by Yuri Kozyrev

Jul 11, 2013

The story of Egypt is the story of crowds. Until January 2011, its politics were the sterile, servile sort enforced by one-party states. But Tahrir Square changed that, and public affairs have refused to move indoors since.

What Yuri Kozyrev has captured in these photos is the abrupt, almost neck-snapping changes that exploded in Cairo’s public spaces in the first days of July. First the city erupted in rejoicing in the hours after the Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from office July 3, his one-year tenure eclipsed by the most massive public demonstrations in the nation’s history three days earlier. Now tens of thousands surged into Tahrir to cheer, bathed in the glow of fireworks and the green laser pointers sold in the square like corn on the cob. Thousands more piled into cars and honked their way through the streets of the capital in the kind of celebration normally seen after a World Cup final.

Photograph by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME; color treated by TIMEPhotograph by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME; color treated by TIME 

Flags were everywhere – including, the next morning, across the pale blue dome of the Cairo sky. Military fighter jets put on an air show over downtown, trailing streams of the national colors and drawing a valentine over Tahrir. Egyptians insisted the president’s removal was not a coup but a national liberation.

Meanwhile, Morsi loyalists built what they called their own Tahir, in the street opposite a mosque in the southeast Cairo neighborhood of Nasr City. In the space of hours, the world of the Muslim Brotherhood had been turned upside, but the organization soon found its feet, and set to marching.

The coup happened on a Wednesday. By Friday, the Brothers were confronting the military at a Republican Guard compound, where sentries opened fire. A few hours later a column of Morsi loyalists marched across Nile toward Tahrir. Most pivoted away to assemble outside the headquarters of state television, which was pointedly ignoring their protests. But enough confronted the anti-Morsi crowd to ignite a rock-throwing melee atop the 6 October Bridge.

The confrontation announced a wrenching new phase in Egypt’s odyssey. The nation that Morsi was accused of polarizing politically by majoritarian behavior was now choosing sides in the literal sense. Demonstrations threatened to become street battles. In the early hours of Monday, July 8, gunfire sounded outside the Republican Guard compound, and 51 members of the Brotherhood lay dead. A country that five days earlier appeared rapturous was, just like that, teetering on a precipice.

Yuri Kozyrev is a contract photographer for TIME who has covered the Arab Spring since January 2011. See more of his photos from Egypt here on LightBox.

Karl Vick is TIME’s Jerusalem bureau chief.

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