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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid