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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid