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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid