However, most of the small shops and poor coffee parlors remain open. Their owners rather try and make a few extra liras than fulfill their religious obligations.
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The population in Cairo's old city is mostly destitute, and during the Muslim Brotherhood regime their situation only worsened. On the walls one can still notice the scraps of election posters for the Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi. A year ago he was widely supported here.
He was considered a savior, and many hoped he would bring change to this quarter of Cairo. But over recent weeks, unseen hands have torn these posters away to erase any memory of the neighborhood's allegiance to the deposed president. Instead, "Wanted" posters by the opposition's Tamarod movement where posted, carrying an image of Morsi behind bars, reading: "Broke out of jail, wanted by the law."
Anti-Morsi posters (Photo: Eldad Beck)
Glory soon fades. Now, the closely stacked houses and precarious balconies are hung with photos of the hero-of-the-hour, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the chief of staff, who announced the Muslim Brotherhood ouster.
Old Cairo's coffee parlors remain a meeting point for the neighborhood, where newspapers are read, hot beverages drank, cigarettes and shishas are smoked and politics discussed.
This is where the people's voice is heard, not of the Facebook sophisticates or the protesters in the squares, who change sides according to circumstance.
And here rage against the US reigns, against Obama and the American administration, for what the Egyptian people perceive as the US support for the Islamists "reign of terror."
Morsi gave Hamas free access to Sinai (Photo: EPA)
I join one such conversation, in a corner coffee parlor, above which an Egyptian flag proudly waves. "The Americans are threatening to cut the aid if our army doesn't do what they want? Let them," announced the owner to his customers.
"It's better to seal a deal with China and get all we need. Money for development, arms. America is finished anyway. How do they allow themselves to object to the will of the Egyptian people? The Egyptian people decide their own fate, not Washington. Obama wants to have the Muslim Brotherhood rule over all the Middle East."
Egypt crushed Zionist lobby"What's the American interest to support the Muslim Brotherhood?" I asked. "Look," explained one distinguished, older gentleman. "The West says one thing and does another. The Americans and Europeans speak so highly for democracy, freedom and human rights, but in the Middle East they support the most autocratic regimes, which object to all these principles.
"The Americans have three main interests in the area: Defending Israel, the oil in the Persian Gulf and control over the Suez Canal. They'll do everything to maintain these interests, and therefore are in favor of the status-quo. Mubarak guaranteed Israel's security. Morsi did nothing against Israel. Instead, he let Palestinians move from the Gaza Strip to Sinai. So, we deposed him."
"For 63 years the Palestinian issue has been the center of all of the Mideast's problems," another man interrupts. "Does it make sense that for so long no solution has been found? The Americans don't want it solved, it serves their interests and promises their control over the region.
"They destroyed the Iraqi army. They are now destroying the Syrian army and next they will destroy the Egyptian army. In the meantime, certain countries are being armed to the teeth. For what? All this will not play out well for either the Americans or Israel."
Egyptian pride (Photo: EPA)Another man at the café shows me the newspaper he is reading: "Here is the proof that the Americans and Israelis are behind the Muslim Brotherhood," he said pointing to a headline that read "Israel regrets Morsi's ouster," and underneath, in small letters, the analysis is attributed to an op-ed published in the Haaretz paper, explaining why Morsi is "good for Israel."
The article was quoted in nearly all of Egypt's paper's Friday as proof of Israel antagonistic position in regards to Egypt and its secret pact with Morsi and the Brotherhood in a bid to dominate the area.
Zionist, American, Brotherhood pact
The daily paper El Dostor, which is closely affiliated with the liberal opposition Wafd party, has conducted a fierce battle against the Muslim Brotherhood's regime. It took its battle one step further and its headline read: "Egypt has crushed the Zionist, American and Muslim Brotherhood's lobby with the ouster of Morsi."
According the lively imagination of the paper's editors, the three groups were in cahoots in a bid to bring about a division in Egypt, allow radicals to take over Sinai and use such a situation to justify an Israeli reoccupation of the peninsula, where an alternative Palestinian homeland would be formed.
No small number of the Egyptians I spoke with echoed these narratives, as well as the claim that the Brotherhood allowed Hamas free access to Sinai so they could take over the Egyptian territory.
While Cairo saw members of the two political camps clash violently, Sinai saw the beginning of a military campaign to restore Egyptian sovereignty in the peninsula. After jihadist launched a series of organized attacks on military bases in the El Arish region, resulting in the death of one soldier, the army announced it is sending reinforcements and raising the local forces' level of preparedness.
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