News / Middle East

Egypt Prepares for First Post-Mubarak Ramadan

A man spreads incense smoke over the goods to ward off the evil eye, in the marketplace in Cairo, July 2011
A man spreads incense smoke over the goods to ward off the evil eye, in the marketplace in Cairo, July 2011
Al Pessin

This year’s holy month of Ramadan starts early next week and for Egyptians, it will be the first since the revolution in January and February ousted then-President Hosni Mubarak.

On a street leading to a mosque, vendors have set up a market selling holiday items, including lots of traditional Egyptian Ramadan lamps. There also are toys for the children, and nuts, dates and other treats. A man spreads incense smoke over the goods to ward off the evil eye.

It is a busy time as families rush to get ready for the nightly fast-breaking meal, the Iftar, which traditionally includes lots of food and especially sweets. Several people take time, though, to talk about the significance of celebrating Ramadan now that Mubarak is no longer president.

“I feel like people have started to love each other more and cooperate with each other more,” said one woman interviewed at the marketplace.

“There is some change since Mubarak got deposed and those thieves left," said another woman with her child. "But we’re still waiting for something good to happen to the country.”

Walid, the owner of a large stall that sells goods, has a more negative view.

“There’s a lot of tension and nervousness in the street these days," said Walid. "We changed the regime. Now it’s time for people to change.”

Another vendor, Mahmoud, said the holy month is always the same. “Ramadan is a blessed month. It is the same every year," he said. "There is no change with Mubarak out.”

But that is not the view at the headquarters of the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood’s new political party. Senior Brotherhood member and party Vice-chairman Esam El-Erian spent eight years in prison under Mubarak.

“It has a very good significance because mosques are free now for all activities, which reflect unity of not only Muslims, Muslims and Christians, and solidarity between rich and poor, and free speech for all scholars to give and address the population about the real facts about Islam,” said El-Erian.

While many Egyptians may not be thinking about politics as they do their holiday shopping, they likely are noticing a different sort of change.

Prices are up sharply on some items, meaning that while Egyptians who opposed the old regime may have something extra to celebrate this year, they will find it more expensive to do so.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid