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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs