News / Middle East

Countdown to Tamarrod: A Second Revolution in Egypt?

Cartoon by Italian activist/artist Gianluca Costantini.
Cartoon by Italian activist/artist Gianluca Costantini.
Cecily Hilleary
Thousands of pro-Morsi supporters gathered in Cairo Friday ahead of Sunday, June 30, the first anniversary of the swearing in of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.  That protesters would take to the street was to be expected, but the Morsi opposition is using the occasion to call millions of protesters into the streets nationwide in what has been dubbed the Tamarrod--or “rebellion.”  

The movement says it has collected 15 million signatures on a petition demanding that Morsi step down and new presidential elections be held. 

Since the arrival of Mohamed Morsi to power, the average citizen still has the feeling that nothing has been achieved so far from the revolution goals which were life in dignity, freedom, social justice and national independence. Morsi was a total failure in achieving every single goal, no security has been reestablished and no social security realized, thus and gave clear proof that he is not fit for the governance of such a country as Egypt…Statement on Tamarrod website.

Prominent Morsi opponents--among them National Salvation Front (NSF) leader Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa, Hamdeen Sabahi and Amr Hamzawy--have endorsed the Tamarrod campaign. The US Embassy announced it would close June 30, and nervous Egyptians have been stocking up on provisions ahead of Sunday.In a nationwide speech Wednesday, Morsi admitted to having made mistakes during his 12-month tenure as president and promised immediate reforms. 

As he spoke, several thousand protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, chanting, “Erhal!”-- or “leave.” 

Morsi’s own Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Leader Farid Ismail appeared on Mehwar TV and warned that what happened in Iraq and Syria is being repeated in Egypt. He reiterated Morsi’s belief that Sunday’s protests have been deliberately planned to ensure Egypt’s instability.

“June 30 protests do not have anything to do with the performance of  in power and the Muslim Brotherhood regime.” – FJP head, Farid Ismail

Mohamed S. is a university professor in Cairo said there is a lot of talk in Egypt of the Deep State driving the protests. 

“Deep State, used in the Egyptian context, means the followers of Mubarak regime who are found in different layers of management inside the state,” said Mohamed.

There appears to be confusion over how, exactly, the military will respond Sunday or whether it is taking any sides.  It has warned that it will intervene rather than allow the country to fall into what defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called a “dark tunnel of conflict,” and he has been moving troops into position around cities across the country.

There are calls in Egypt for the military, which handed power over to  just a year ago, to assume power in Egypt again.  As Mohamed put it to VOA, “If clashes aggravate, the military should take power for a temporary period of four years – a full term.  Then after this period, new presidential elections should be held.”

Independent Al Masry Al Youm columnist Dr. Amr El Shobaki writes that the Army will intervene only “when the political process collapses entirely because of the economic crisis.” However, he added that, “everyone should work on building a political, civil, democratic alternative to Muslim Brotherhood rule.”

Many of those who will participate in June 30 actually voted for Morsi last year. I made one sign the Tamarrod petition.

Egypt’s Daily News writer Thoriaia Abou Bakr offered up practical advice for protesters, and in a sad commentary on the growing problem of sexual harassment of Egypt’s women, offered specific tips for women:

  1. This is a tip for the ladies with long hair: wear it up, and not in a pony tail. If you have the misfortune of being attacked long hair is an easy thing to grab on to, so make sure your hair is safely tucked away…
  2. Harassment might not be avoided, but that does not mean you cannot do anything about it. Scream bloody murder, kick, bite, do whatever you can to get out of the situation… 
  3. Finally, be safe and always have your phone handy. Make sure you have some numbers of institutions that help with arrests and sexual harassment; it might mean your survival. If you have pepper spray, take it with you, you can never be too careful.

You May Like

Video Getting to Zero AIDS Infections

More than 35 million people around the world are infected with HIV, a disease that is both preventable and treatable

Children, Childhoods Lost in European Refugee Crisis

According to UNICEF, 190,000 children applied for political asylum in Europe in the first 9 months of this year - twice as many as last year

What Happened When I Landed in Antarctica

Refael Klein chronicles what it's like to visit one of the coldest, most desolate places on Earth

This forum has been closed.
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.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs