News / Middle East

    Cairo Protesters Divided by Opposing Views

    Cairo Protesters Show No Compromisei
    X
    July 30, 2013 7:30 PM
    Egyptians are braced for new showdowns between forces for and against ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The two sides are symbolized by literal opposing camps, as VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo.]]
    "Cairo Protesters Show No Compromise" - related video report by Elizabeth Arrott
    Heather Murdock
    In polarized Egypt, protesters in Cairo occupy camps divided by fear and barriers made of brick and barbed wire. The military has threatened supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi with orders to disperse while leaders of his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, are calling for marches on security buildings.

    In the hot afternoon, Cairo’s Tahrir Square is nearly empty. This was the epicenter of the 2011 demonstrations, which led to what Egyptians proudly refer to as “The Revolution,” that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-reign.

    On Friday night, the square was packed with supporters blowing plastic horns as fireworks shot up over the crowds.

    But now the demonstrators who occupy the square have set up checkpoints on the roads surrounding their camp and some are blocked with sandbags, tires and barbed wire.

    Aly el-Gazzar makes woodcarvings by his tent in the center of the square.  He says he’s living in Tahrir Square in support of Army Chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted the democratically elected Morsi on July 3 and is now detaining him.

    Gazzar says he’s been carving since the revolution and this protest is a continuation of Egyptians' quest for a fair government.

    Another protester, Mohammad Hussain, says Morsi, after a year in office, is responsible for the deterioration of Egypt’s economy, security, health and justice system.

    Hussain says this camp is peaceful but in danger of being attacked by the Muslim Brotherhood, which he says is well armed and looking for a fight. Pro-Morsi protesters are either criminals or being paid by outsiders to sit in their camp, he says.

    At the camp across town near the Raba'a al-Adawiya mosque, pro-Morsi protesters sleep under tents or quietly study their Qurans near the entrance, guarded by a dozen men and blocked by sandbags and makeshift brick walls. Thousands have been camping for a nearly month here, demanding Morsi's reinstatement.

    At the end of the row of tents is a rally by the mosque. Demonstrators dance and chant for hours despite the afternoon heat.

    Amira Ali, a student at the University of Alexandria, about two-and-a-half hours away, came to Cairo to join the protest, which she says is to reclaim Egypt’s democracy.

    She calls the protesters in Tahrir Square “rubbish people” who are either paid thugs or just paid to sit in the square.

    “I’m coming here to fight for our freedom and the democracy even if I get killed," Ali said. "I don’t want to live like animals.”

    Ali says protesters are unarmed but prepared to fight with sticks and rocks if their camp is attacked. On early Saturday, clashes just outside the camp killed scores of people and bodies filled the Morsi supporters' make-shift morgue.

    The Muslim Brotherhood called Monday for night demonstrations near security buildings after a thinly veiled threat from the interior minister to dismantle the camp.

    Muslim Brotherhood member Abdulhameed Elawa says the weekend violence may help the organization regain some of the support it lost under Morsi’s leadership.

    “The Egyptian society is kind people," Elawa said. "They know the people who are honest and who are not. They are killing us and we are shedding blood. And those that are shedding blood should be honest.”

    On Monday morning a military helicopter dropped leaflets on the pro-Morsi camp urging them not to march on security buildings and not to be violent.

    Nearly 200 people have been killed since Morsi’s ouster. Protesters in both camps say if there are clashes and people die, they will be acting in self-defense.

    You May Like

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora