News / Middle East

    Egyptians Rally in Huge Numbers as Violence Escalates

    Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi run for cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold their daily rally, in Cairo, Egypt, July 26, 2013.
    Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi run for cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold their daily rally, in Cairo, Egypt, July 26, 2013.
    VOA News
    Violent clashes have broken out in Cairo and Alexandria, where tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets Friday in dueling rallies — one called by the military to show support for overturning the elected civilian government, the other called by the Muslim Brotherhood to reinforce its demand for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
     
    In Alexandria, supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi pelted each other with rocks. Video showed Muslim Brotherhood supporters firing bird shot at pro-government demonstrators who support the military and its interim government.  Medical sources and state-run media said five people were killed and many others were injured.
     
    In Cairo, Morsi supporters clashed in Tahrir Square with some of the thousands of people who answered Army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi's call for "all honorable Egyptians" to take to the streets to give him a mandate to fight "violence and terrorism."
     
    As Karim Hassan, one man in the pro-government throng, said, "We are here today in order to support the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces ... and give him a green card [a go-ahead] to root out terrorism from Egypt. We can't wait any longer; the country is burning."
     
    Morsi still detained

    Key Dates in Egypt

    • February 11, 2011 - President Hosni Mubarak resigns after weeks of massive protests and clashes
    • January 21, 2012 - The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party wins almost half of Egypt's parliamentary seats
    • June 24, 2012 - Mohamed Morsi becomes Egypt's first freely elected president
    • November 22, 2012 - Morsi grants himself sweeping powers, sparking protests
    • July 3, 2013 - The army removes Morsi from power and suspends the constitution
    The demonstrations got under way as an Egyptian judge ordered Morsi to remain in custody for at least 15 more days. He has been held by the military in a secret location since July 3, when the army removed him from power.
     
    The official MENA news agency said authorities are investigating charges that Morsi conspired with the Hamas group to help himself and dozens of other Islamist leaders escape from prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. The Muslim Brotherhood has said local residents helped free the prisoners, and a spokesman said Friday that the latest word from the government was proof that Egypt is returning to the tight controls on the public that marked the Mubarak era.
     
    Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also rejected the accusations and challenged Egyptian authorities to provide evidence that Hamas intervened in Egypt's internal affairs.
     
    As they have on a daily basis, Morsi supporters massed Friday outside the Rabia el-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo's Nasr City, a Brotherhood stronghold, calling for Morsi's reinstatement.
     
    Morsi's presidency and his subsequent ouster have bitterly divided Egyptians who see this as a pivotal moment for the country's future course. Many Islamists view General Sissi's call for mass popular support as a prelude to a violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Story continues below photo gallery
    • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi attend Friday prayer at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold daily rallies in Cairo, July 26, 2013.
    • Opponents of Mohamed Morsi during a protest at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013.
    • An Egyptian military helicopter near the Cairo tower, Friday, July 26, 2013.
    • A man flashes victory signs at a military helicopter near the presidential palace in Cairo, July 26, 2013.
    • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi atop a bridge during a rally around Rabaa Adawiya Square, Cairo July 26, 2013.
    • Supporters of Morsi during a demonstration outside the Egyptian embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 26, 2013.
    • A member of the Muslim Brotherhood at a rally around Rabaa Adawiya square, Cairo, July 26, 2013.
    • A military helicopter among clouds of smoke in Cairo, July 26, 2013.
    • In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi delivers a speech in Cairo, July 24, 2013.
    • Sand barriers set up by protesters near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, July 23, 2013.
    • Firefighters extinguish a scooter that was set on fire during clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Morsi in Cairo, July 22, 2013.
    • Firefighters extinguish a scooter that was set on fire during clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Morsi in Cairo, July 22, 2013.
     
     
    International concerns

    Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institution said the phenomenon of rival protests has done nothing to resolve Egypt's underlying political conflict, and has merely authorized Defense Minister Sissi to assume the role of a traditional Arab military ruler.
     
    “Pity Egypt when political life has to be adjudicated in the streets, or more precisely in the squares — my square against your square, the size of my crowd against the size of your crowd," Ajami said. "What is truly unique is we witnessed a man in authority, a uniformed man who summons the people to the streets and stokes the very protests that usually would unsettle republics."
     
    Poverty and other conditions that produced the "Arab Spring" rebellions in early 2011 still exist, Ajami said, and the Islamist movements that nourished rebellions will continue, even as the old guard tries to contain the discontent and repair Egypt.
     
    World leaders are expressing increasing concern about the rising violence, polarization of Egyptian society and the army's crackdown on Brotherhood leaders. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all sides this week to exercise restraint, saying he supports the rights of all Egyptians to hold peaceful protests, and called on the Egyptian military to end "arbitrary arrests" and other forms of harassment.
     
    The U.S. has also expressed its concern about Sissi's calls for mass protests, and the Obama administration said it is delaying the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt's military. However, the White House also has refused to declare that the overthrow of the Cairo government was a coup — a designation that would require suspension of U.S. military and economic aid to Egypt.
     
    The Egyptian military says it was obligated to remove Morsi, Egypt's first elected president, in the midst of enormous, nationwide protests against his rule.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Bean Cube
    July 27, 2013 9:28 PM
    Nobody (not economic dictators, religious dictators, military dictators, Israeli Zionists or CIA of America) should be allowed to hijack Egyptians' democratic evolution and modernization of the region.

    by: Nadeem Ahmad from: Berlin, Germany
    July 27, 2013 4:09 PM
    Muslim Brotherhood, lost more than 100 lives in single day, they are without guns, empty handed, what a pity, they are being projected as terrorists in western and US media, while people with tanks and guns are building new form of democracy over dead bodies through army.

    by: Cb1 from: USA
    July 27, 2013 8:50 AM
    Divide and conquer. Who is feeding this conflict and who stands to gain from it?

    by: james from: suisse
    July 27, 2013 1:36 AM
    Please tell the truth. Egyptian soldiers killed more than 80 people who were in a peacful demonstration in Cairo.

    by: Sani Aliyu Hunkuyi(Mr.) from: Nigeria
    July 26, 2013 7:31 PM
    I agree with Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri that the Military Government of Egypt is simply trying to perpetuate their stay on government since they were not able to show evidence that Hamas intervened in the escape of Islamist leaders from prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. The Military is merely trying to give a dog bad name to justify hanging it.
    It is unfortunate that the Obama administration which is supposed to defend democracy is tactfully trying to justify the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt's military government. Poverty and other difficult conditions which the democratic government of Morsi found itself should had been bailed-out by oil-rich Middle-East governments of Saudi Arabia and other rich Islamic Countries. Unfortunately the so called Islamic countries would rather go and put their wealth in the banks of America and other western countries.
    The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his usual call on all sides to exercise restraint is only dancing to the tune of American powers that put him as the U.N. Secretary-General.
    The Congress of the United States, the legislature of the United States of America, established under the Constitution of 1789 should declare the overthrow of Morsi's government as a coup if the White House is not prepared to do that, otherwise we would stop our respect for the USA as a true/model democratic country.
    We look forward to USA's suspension of U.S. military and economic aid to Egypt under Military Rule but should insist in reinstatement of democratically elected government of Morsi. Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei should be ashamed of himself and is now viewed as a curse to his country(Egypt) being used to create tension that is leading to death of his fellow country men and women.
    In Response

    by: gerald spencer from: Chicago
    July 27, 2013 11:00 AM
    Rampant voter fraud put Morsi in power; it was witnessed by poll watchers from all over the world. How was it possible he had 24% more votes than there were voters in most areas? Stolen goods are never valued.

    by: SavidHSwingler from: Cairo and California
    July 26, 2013 4:36 PM
    The Egyptian People's Majority Mandate has democratically removed Morsy in action clearly requiring creation of a new political word to describe it.

    Egypt's majority intent declared in February proceeded democratically by petition “Votes” 3 months, ratified and given “Legitimacy” by 33 million “Street Votes” in a Majority People’s Presence June 30th; Morsy's impeachment-removal was effected on TV by decree, without guns.

    Because Morsy systematically usurped powers until he controlled the government systems required to impeach him normally – forfeiting his elected ‘legitimacy’ - he had to be democratically impeached this new way.

    This is the first time in world history we are seeing this kind of democratic IMPEACHMENT PROCESS. The facts are important: Morsy was elected by only 20% of the Registered Voters in Egypt – only 13 million votes of 55 million Registered Voters. Morsy was impeached by the 25-million-vote Petition Mandate Vote, and by the 33-million-vote Street Mandate Vote. In Democracy, 25 million votes and 33 million votes overwhelmingly out-votes 13 million.

    The very small minority Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist supporters must accept the enacted Majority Mandate democratically, go home, go back to work and support the new Majority Government – the same way all Egypt gave Morsy his chance for 12 months. The Majority has now spoken; it is done; it is now time for all Egyptians to support EGYPT - EGYPT - and work to build the country. God Bless Egypt!
    In Response

    by: Jacob Gerzenshtein
    July 27, 2013 8:58 AM
    There is no need for a "new political word," since there is an existing phrase that perfectly describes the situation. It is Coup d'état. This "democratic impeachment" will give legitimacy only to the "very small" number of the Brotherhood supporters (who somehow managed to raise a majority in the last legitimate election).

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 26, 2013 3:15 PM
    Since the Muslim Brotherhood will not listen to any voice of reason, no one will listen to their own call for anything. The people who directly or indirectly ousted Morsi are Egyptians. Their voice has to be heard too. The military saved Egypt from total collapse, now they want a mandate to clear the streets of those who know nothing and no one else but themselves alone. If Muslim Brotherhood wants progress in Egypt, it should join hands with the government of Egypt to correct the errors that were made in 2012. Egypt will not stagnate because a group will not let others' voices be heard. Instead Egypt will move forward without the group. Muslim Brotherhood proves to be anti-Egypt, otherwise how would they present Morsi whose jail term should still be running as their sole candidate for the 2012 polls? This they did to circumvent justice. Imagine that Hamas was the hand that removed him from jail illegally. Imagine that he was involved in jailbreak just like the one that freed al qaida fugitives in Iraq recently. Will his presidency legitimize the illegality because he is a Muslim Brotherhood operative? The world has grown beyond that, and Egypt of all civilizations shouldn't be the one to turn back the hand of the clock. I hope Gen. Sissi has been convinced that Egypt refuses to have Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Today's massive rally should convince the Muslim Brotherhood to take their turn in the queue and not think Egypt cannot move forward without it. Egypt belongs to all Egyptians equally.
    In Response

    by: ali baba from: new york
    July 26, 2013 6:45 PM
    Muslim brotherhood know that .they no body like them .they believe that they have message from god to establish Islamic empire and they believe that their dream come true when morsi became a president. Muslim brotherhood go in the process to covert Egypt into Islamic state and set an example for other to follow. the Egyptian does not like Muslim brotherhood but it does not make any difference to them. They are going to stir problem until the army stand firm and control the situation by any means necessary
    In Response

    by: SavidHSwingler from: Cairo and California
    July 26, 2013 4:40 PM
    My Friend Godwin from Nigeria - well said, so true, and Thank You for saying in such clear words what people of all nations watching Egypt should be saying. The Majority Mandate has enacted this change and now, as you say, Morsy's supporters must democratically go home, go back to work and build Egypt for all Egyptians. God Bless You and God Bless Egypt.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.