Egyptian demonstrations force change, back military intervention

Massive protests in Egypt are forcing change...the question is what that change will look like. Photo: AP

CAIRO, July 3, 2013  — Egypt has witnessed massive demonstrations since June 30, when opposition groups amassed to force President Morsi to step down. More than 30 million demonstrators took to the streets over the last several days, exceeding even the number of demonstrators who forced former dictator Hosni Mubarak from power.   

The angry protestors took to the streets to express their dissatisfaction and condemnation of the current Islamist regime. The clashes have divided the country into two camps: supporters and opponents of the president.

Public squares all over the country became platforms where demonstrators of the opposition shout their demands. In Tahrir Square in Cairo, people shout: ‘no water, no electricity, and no gas we want to live  …’ other demonstrators said ‘we want the military, we want true democracy’. 

Deadly clashes between those against Morsi and those supporting the president resulted in more than 20 deaths in different governorates. An American citizen who was photographing demonstrations in Alexandria on June 28 is among the dead. The ministry of health announced more than 800 injured in different governorates until July 3rd, 2013.

Today is a crucial day for Egypt,  as all Egyptians – and the world – wait impatiently to see what will happen when the deadline set by the Armed Forces for Morsi to end the conflict passes. On  July 1, in reaction to the escalating violence and deadly clashes, the minister of defence Abdel Fattah El Sissi issued a statement on behalf of the Armed forces warning all the vying political forces to meet the demands of the masses. The military statement mentioned that the army will not get involved in politics but has decided to act according to the real danger facing national security.

President Morsi gave a speech on T.V. on July 2, stressing the legitimacy of his regime; he reminded the people that he is the first freely elected civilian president and that he has a mandate to govern. President Morsi mentioned the word “Legitimacy” more than 59 times. This, perhaps, explains his determination to ignore the deadline as he calls for a national reconciliatory dialogue.

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Meanwhile, protestors express dissatisfaction with the results of the election that brought Morsi to power, saying his Islamist-dominated government does not truly represent the people of Egypt. They say that President Morsi did not win by a majority, as he acquired only 51 % in votes ahead of Ahmed Safik the last prime minister of Mubarak’s regime who obtained 49.3%.

The Tamarod, or “Rebel” movement, the youngest and newest opposition group, announced in a press conference that they already collected more than 22 million signatures demanding new elections.

In such a critical situation, there seems to be no alternative to military rule, with multiple sectors clamoring for army intervention. However, young revolutionaries vow this time to protect their revolution and seek the support of the army to plan a future road map for Egypt. Some opposition groups proposed establishing an interim coalition government and appointing the Head of the Supreme Court as a ceremonial president

Masses of protesters in the squares of the country were counting impatiently the deadline of the army. After 5 P.M., the National T.V. announced the official political isolation of all the leader of Muslim Brotherhood including President Mohamed Morsi and preventing them from leaving the country.

Egypt, and the world, now waits.

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Anwaar Abdalla

Anwaar Abadallah Khalik Ibrahim has her Ph.D. from Ain Shams University (1999, first degree honour) and currently lectures on Civilization and Cultural Affairs for Helwan University.  Dr. Abdalla Kahlik Ibrahim also works as an official coordinator for the cultural exchange program between Helwan Uni and TSU in the USA entitled “Cultural Immersion 2011-2014.”

Additionally, Ms. Abdallah is a member of the Egyptian and Arab women’s writer’s union and the Cairo Women Association.  She is also the translator of several books published by the Ministry of Culture including Shadows on the Grass, Impossible Peace and The Secret Rapture. Dr. Ibrahim is also an accomplished author and essayist in both Arabic and English publications. 


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