News / Middle East

Edgy Egyptians Stock Up on Essentials Ahead of June 30 Protests

A family loads groceries into the trunk of their car ahead of demonstrations against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Cairo, June 25, 2013.
A family loads groceries into the trunk of their car ahead of demonstrations against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Cairo, June 25, 2013.
Reuters
Egyptians are stocking up on food, fuel and cash ahead of protests this weekend against President Mohamed Morsi that many fear will be the most violent and disruptive this year.
 
Morsi's liberal, leftist and secular-minded opponents have called on Egyptians to take to the streets on June 30 - the one-year anniversary of the Islamist president's first day in office - to demand his resignation.
 
Street cafes, minibusses, banks, offices and grocery stores across the Arab world's most populous country have been abuzz for weeks with talk of the “June 30'' protests.
 
Many people have started hoarding essentials, fearing a repeat of the disruption that hit business and transport during the 18-day revolt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
Mona Kamel, a 52-year-old office secretary, said she had bought a week's worth of rice, pasta, sugar, milk, bread and cheese to see her family through any disruption.
 
“My neighbors, friends and colleagues are all doing this just in case,'' she said. “Maybe there will be curfews, maybe bakeries won't run their ovens. It's better to be prepared.''
 
Long lines have formed at gas stations across Cairo over the last few days, blocking thoroughfares and worsening already snarling gridlock. Some motorists said they were trying to fuel up ahead of the demonstrations.
 
The oil ministry on Tuesday dismissed “rumors'' of fuel shortages and urged citizens not to be “misled'' into hoarding gas, the state news agency MENA reported.
 
But Mona Waleed, a 39-year-old local oil firm employee, said she sat in line at a petrol station for four hours on Tuesday waiting to fill up.
 
Waleed, who said she also made two trips to the bank this week to make sure her family of four had enough cash to last a month, said the 2011 uprising had taken many people off guard.
 
“This time, people are afraid and they are getting ready,'' she said.
 
Fear of violence 

Anti-Morsi activists have been boosted by the momentum of a months-old signature drive to withdraw confidence from the president, known as “Tamarod'' or “Rebel." The campaign claims to have gathered 15 million signatures, more than the number of votes Morsi received in last year's presidential election.
 
A coalition of Morsi's Islamist supporters - including his Muslim Brotherhood - has called for counter-demonstrations to assert his legitimacy, raising the chances of violent confrontations between the two sides. The tension prompted Egypt's army to warn it may step in to impose order.
 
Organizers have called for marches from downtown Cairo and surrounding neighborhoods to the presidential palace in the suburb of Heliopolis, where rival factions of Morsi's supporters and opponents have clashed in the past.
 
In the suburb of Nasr City, Rijan Samier, 41, said she started to worry about the potential for confrontation when thousands of Islamists flooded her neighborhood on Friday to rally outside a local mosque in support of the president.
 
Some of her neighbors set up checkpoints to prevent the protesters from reaching the mosque through their street, she said, although the day passed without violence.
 
“Thank God, nothing happened this time,'' Samier said.
 
Supply side panic

The nervousness is also affecting suppliers.
 
In a working class district near Cairo's Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of Egypt's 2011 uprising, Youssef Sabet said he was afraid his small grocery store would be broken into if the protests turned violent.

“Whenever any problems on the street happen, they start here,'' Sabet, 56, said. “I am running down my supplies. I've stopped bringing in new goods.''
 
Sabet and other shopkeepers downtown said they would close their stores on Sunday - the first day of Egypt's working week - either to join the rallies or to protect their property.
 
The United States embassy said it would also close on Sunday and urged Americans to ensure they had enough supplies to make it through “an extended period'' at home.
 
Workers at the Semiramis Intercontinental have just finished putting up a tall black steel gated fence around the five-star hotel, which overlooks Tahrir and the Nile River.
 
Looters broke into the hotel in January after protests marking the second anniversary of the Jan. 25 uprising, trashing the lobby and shops while riot police stood by.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid