News / Middle East

    Egypt Protests Continue Despite Deadline to Disperse

    Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans and hold up posters during a rally marching back towards Rabaa al-Adawiya Square where they are camping, in Cairo, August 2, 2013.
    Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans and hold up posters during a rally marching back towards Rabaa al-Adawiya Square where they are camping, in Cairo, August 2, 2013.
    Heather Murdock
    Despite reports of fresh violence in Egypt's capital and military orders to disband, supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi again came out en masse Friday night, saying the order to leave the protest camps has only made them more determined to stay put.
     
    This protest coordinated by the Muslim Brotherhood is relatively quiet before demonstrators break their daily Ramadan fast, but the crowds are thick, with more people coming in from every direction.  
     
    Speeches blare on loudspeakers and crowds gather around a stage decorated with flags and posters of Morsi.
     
    Seham Hussein said she and her family come to the camp almost every day to support Morsi, who remains detained after being thrown out of office July 3.
     
    She said the order to leave the camp, and even the promise of safe passage out, has not deterred her family, or anyone else. Her 16-year-old daughter, Abeer, wears a pin that says,“Down with military rule” in Arabic.
     
    There are fears of violence if police go ahead with plans to dismantle the tent camps. Earlier in the day, there were reports of clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters of Morsi and the police.
     
    Police on Friday ordered a blockade around protest camps and gave anti-military protesters 48 hours to leave peacefully.
     
    But Abeer said children are protected by the dozens of guards checking bags and searching for weapons at protest entrances, which are piled high with sandbags. Besides, she said, demonstrations are where children learn to stand up for their rights.
     
    Across town, in Tahrir Square, crowds are thin, because no specific demonstration in favor of Army Chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi was called. Vendors were out, though, offering food, Egyptian flag face painting, and flags. Pro-military crowds often gather in Tahrir Square on Friday nights, even if no event has been organized.
     
    Fifteen-year-old Eslam said he has been living in Tahrir Square for months. He stands near a display showing a wedding dress with an Egyptian flag where the bride’s face would be, placed next to a picture of Sissi on top of a suit. The display symbolizes Egypt’s wedding to the general, and Eslam said Sissi saved Egypt from Islamist rule.

    Outside the pro-Morsi camp, however, protester Gilel Ahmed said that regardless of whether people like Morsi, he was elected fairly.
     
    “I’m over 60 years [old]. I would like to see my country go for democracy. I don’t care about Morsi. I care about my democracy. I care about freedom. I care about what Egypt deserves,” said Ahmed.
     
    Ahmed enters a pro-Morsi camp wearing a T-shirt that says, “I love Egypt,” which is strikingly similar to shirts available for sale in the pro-military camp in Tahrir Square.

    • People perform Ramadan night prayers in Cairo, celebrating Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Power), August 4, 2013.
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi prays outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, August 4, 2013.
    • The area around the Rabaa Adiweya mosque has been packed with Muslim Brotherhood supporters sleeping in tents for over a month. Families bring children to protect them from the police forcibly dismantling the sit-in. (H. Elrasam for VOA)
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi prays outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, August 4, 2013.
    • Children have been participating in protests in Egypt since the became widespread and near-constant in 2011. (H. Elrasam for VOA)
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi gets relief from the afternoon heat with the help of water sprayers in front of a poster of Morsi, Cairo University,Giza, Egypt.
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi cries while saluting the Egyptian flag at Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
    • An Egyptian woman feeds her ducks in front of a barrier recently set up by supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi in their camp in Giza, southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 1, 2013. 
    • An Egyptian child attends prayers with his father at a protest near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, August 1, 2013. 
    • Egyptian children wear head bands with Arabic writing: "No god but Allah and Mohammed is the prophet." They attend a protest outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Cairo, Egypt.
    • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi pray at Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where Morsi supporters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, Cairo, July 31, 2013.
    • "Third Square" actvists, who promote a middle way in the rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the army's overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, gather at Sphinx Square in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    • "Third Square" actvists gather at Sphinx Square in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    • Supporters of Mohamed Morsi during a march from Al-Fath Mosque to the defense ministry in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    • Flares illuminate the gathering of several hundred activists the "Third Square" in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
    • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
    • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
    • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)

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    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 03, 2013 8:00 AM
    Here something is becoming clearer - that Morsi is getting more and more unpopular by the day. At least his supporters have recognized that. Next they agree that El Sissi saved Egypt and is the happening man in Egypt now. That is another important milestone. Then we see that the pro-Morsi group is like a drowning man that will cling to straw. We should feel pity for them because they realize that the Muslim Brotherhood cannot win another victory in Egypt. But can someone tell them to do themselves a favor by dispersing now there may still be a little left to save their faces, because the longer they remain on the streets protesting, the more unpopular they become. The global opinion is that Egypt is best without Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and a greater majority in Egypt agrees with this, why will the muslim brotherhood continue to insist on something stale against the popular demand of the Egyptians? When the Brotherhood talks about democracy, did they forget what it meant when they had the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that they can be democratic? The ruled like the 12th century emperors, sidelining democracy - even the pharaohs of the time were better. Now they talk about democracy as if they understand what that mandate they fouled up entailed. It is like gold to the pig, give them another opportunity and they will still trample on it, making the best of it to marginalize the rest of Egyptians.

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