News / Africa

Egyptian Activists Continue to Press for Faster Reforms

Protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Jul 22, 2011
Protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Jul 22, 2011
Al Pessin

Hundreds of protesters rallied on Cairo’s Tahrir Square after mid-day prayers Friday to call for faster reforms. Activists hoped for larger crowds later in the day, after the worst of the blazing heat.  

Spirited but weary protesters

A spirited crowd chanted for an end to military rule, greater freedom and social justice, led by young men on a makeshift stage.

Activists had called for a large-scale demonstration on what they dubbed “Decisive Friday.”  But attendance in the early afternoon was down even from last Friday’s showing of several thousand.

One woman who came out with her family thinks she knows why.

Rasha Osama Abdel Alim says she wants to be part of what she called “the purification” of the country, but she says five months after huge crowds forced the resignation of then-President Hosni Mubarak, many people are just tired of protesting.

“People are fed up," she said. "Whoever comes here is fed up.  Whoever doesn’t show up is also fed up.  The situation is saddening.”

What they want


But in the center of the Square, where activists have set up a tent city and say they won’t leave until their demands are met, protester Joe Gabra says there is no such feeling among movement leaders like himself.

“They’re basically counting on that we’re going to get tired of sitting here in the sun and go home, and everything’s going to go back to normal," he said. "So, we’re here to tell them that no, we’re not tired.  We’re going to stay here until all our demands are met.”

Protesters say they were not impressed by Thursday’s cabinet shakeup, in which half the ministers were fired.  They say the civilian government has no real power, and they are concerned that the military council, which holds ultimate power, will never give it up, even after elections scheduled for later this year.

The protesters are demanding trials for Mubarak and other former officials. They want an end to military trials of civilians and to prosecution of police officers accused of killing or attacking demonstrators. They are also seeking higher wages and economic reforms.

Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt’s best-organized political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, did not endorse Friday’s protest plans, instead calling for a “Day of Stability,” and inviting people to a conference at a large Cairo mosque.

The Brotherhood is calling for large rallies next Friday throughout the country. The group wants early elections, which analysts say will likely give the long-banned group a significant share of political power.  


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

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid