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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid