News / Middle East

    Protests in Egypt, Tunisia Spark Turmoil

    An Egyptian activist shouts at anti-riot policemen who block the way leading to the journalists syndicate in downtown Cairo, Jan 26 2011
    An Egyptian activist shouts at anti-riot policemen who block the way leading to the journalists syndicate in downtown Cairo, Jan 26 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Noureddine Jebnoun, former professor at the Tunisian Command & General Staff College

    Egyptian security forces have deployed en masse across the capital, Cairo, Wednesday amid calls by protest leaders to continue demonstrating despite a ban.

    In central Cairo, Egyptian activists clashed with security forces stationed nearby as thousands of Interior Ministry troops stood watch along key roads and bridges to keep passersby from congregating.

    The Egyptian Interior Ministry warned on its website that public demonstrations would not be tolerated. Protest organizers reported scattered mobile phone outages and a blockage of the social websites Twitter and Facebook to prevent them from mobilizing supporters.

    Top opposition activist Abdul Jalil Mustapha called on President Hosni Mubarak not to seek re-election.

    He said the opposition is asking President Mubarak to announce that he will not run for re-election and that his son, Gamal, will not run in his place. Mustapha also insisted that both houses of parliament be dissolved and transparent elections be held.

    Video footage of Egypt protests:



    The Egyptian stock market also reportedly dropped 4 percent as investors worried about the implications of a rise in turmoil.

    Slideshow of Egyptian protests



    In nearby Tunisia, security forces fired tear gas at protesters close to the prime minister’s office, as groups of young men threw stones and tried to break through a barricade. Protesters are demanding that interim Prime Minister Mohammed Gannouchi step down.

    The prime minister is due to announce a reshuffle of his cabinet. Meanwhile, Education Minister Ahmad Ibrahim urged Tunisians not to get carried away by demonstrations.

    VOA's Mohamed Elshinnawi speaks with Noureddine Jebnoun, former professor at the Tunisian National Defense Institute:

    He said it's normal for people to have a certain civic-awareness and to be concerned about protecting the gains of the revolution and keeping it from spinning out of control. But, he adds, it is imperative that protests be organized and peaceful and not stop the country from functioning.

    Video footage of Tunisia protests:


    An active discussion continues in the Arab press about the possibility of popular protests spreading from one Arab country to the next. However Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris III, insists that each Arab country has its own internal logic.

    He said that despite what people say, the idea of contagion from one Arab country to another is not a foregone conclusion and that the situation does not resemble that of eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He stressed that each country has its own context and that government structures vary widely. Tunisia, he noted, has a tradition of separation between religion and state, and a vibrant middle class which led the recent revolt. The army, he added, also joined the revolt.

    Conditions differ in Egypt, concludes Abou Diab, because the government, the army and the security forces have a "symbiotic relationship", and the state has a Pharoanic tradition of strong leaders. But, he urged President Mubarak to work slowly to democratize the system to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran from taking advantage of a political vacuum.

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora