Tamarod (Rebel): The new face of opposition in Egypt

Tamarod or “Rebel” is the newest political campaign in Egypt, and is amassing to push President Mohamed Morsi from office. Photo: AP

CAIRO, June 30, 2013 — Tamarod or “Rebel” is the newest political campaign in Egypt. The movement was organized by ordinary groups of people seeking to withdraw confidence from President Mohamed Morsi. The group called on supporters to march on the Presidential Palace on June 30, 2013, the anniversary of the inauguration of President Morsi.

Like other opposition groups in Egypt, they are frustrated from the lack of meaningful economic or political reform since Morsi has taken office.

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The failure of the existing opposition groups and in presenting themselves as an alternative political power has paved the way to the success of Tamarod as a movement.

Some political analysts believe that perhaps some opposition groups plan to hijack the success of Tamarod and attribute it to themselves. However, Mahmoud Badr, co- founder of the campaign, in his interview to Al Ahram weekly newspaper explained that he does not agree with that opinion, because Tamarod is made up of ordinary Egyptians, not politicians.

Tamarod has started a petition to express dissatisfaction with Morsi, and so far has collected 22 million signatures. The signatories include students, workers, street vendors, police officers and employees. In other words, they represent ordinary Egyptians who reject the current Islamist regime. Their goal is to establish a democratic state.

In announcing June 30th, 2013 as a day of Tamarod, almost all the opposition groups called on a million man march to the Presidential Palace to call for an end to the Muslim Brotherhood rule and to demand immediate presidential elections. Tamarod, as well as other opposition groups, seeks a civil political system; they refuse Egypt as an Islamist state.

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Although many experts in Egypt expressed their concerns that June 30th protest may turn violent, the organizing opposition committee reiterated their willingness  to work with different political forces to secure the planned mass demonstrations heading to the Presidential Palace. They plan to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers from young people to act as observers in order to prevent any violence. The main purpose of these volunteers is to ensure peaceful protests and no sabotage of any public or private property happens. Furthermore, other volunteers offered to install cameras on all the streets that lead to the presidential palace to monitor any illegal or violent activity.

When Mahmoud Badr, the co-founder of Tamarod, was asked about his campaign’s statement that they are not part of any political group and that Tamarod is an independent movement, he explained that all the opposition groups supported Tamarod. He also explained that there is disagreement aobut how to deal with the current government yet the common interest is to press peacefully for ousting the Islamist oriented president Morsi and to call upon earlier elections.

Many Egyptians consider Tamarod as a new face of opposition that has empowered other opposition groups perhaps unifying them as they adopt a similar position which is rejecting any dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the government.                    

However, with Morsi refusing to leave office and his supporters amassing for counter demonstrations, Egypt is poised for more strife and instability as it struggles toward implementing full democracy.

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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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