Photo: AP

Post-Mubarak Egypt: Utopia turns sour

Instead of celebrating two-year anniversary of former Egyptian president's fall, country's citizens seek to topple current leader, Morsi

Egypt is celebrating the two-year anniversary of toppled President Hosni Mubarak – with a protest against current President Mohamed Morsi.


On that same revolutionary Friday, two years back, the citizens of the land of the Nile celebrated the dramatic announcement made by then-Vice President Omar Suleiman, that Mubarak is handing the reins over to the Supreme Military Council.


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A resident of Alexandria told Ynet on Monday that "there was a feeling of utopia then, it was amazing and tomorrow is a sad day."


The country's main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, never misses an opportunity to hit the streets and called upon Egypt's citizens to protest on Tuesday against Morsi in Tahrir Square and near Morsi's presidential palace.


הפגנות מול ארמון הנשיאות בסוף השבוע (צילום: AP) 

Violent demonstrations at Morsi's palace (Photo: AP)


Reasons for protesting are abundant – fatal clashes in the streets, a financial crisis, a controversial constitution and Morsi's multitudinous decision-makings.


April 6, the group which led the anti-Mubarak uprising and the secular oppositional movement, declared that Tuesday's "activities are being held to demand Morsi's fall and to commit the latter alongside Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and Interior Minister General Mohammed Ibrahim to trial for the recent murder of protesters."


מורסי. "הבטיח שלא יהיו חוקי חירום ואז הכריז עליהם" (צילום: Gettyimages)

Are Morsi's days numbered? (Photo: Gettyimages)


Two separate processions are expected to march towards Tahrir Square, leaving from two Cairo mosques and two more are expected to begin at two other mosques and end at the presidential palace.


Tension fills the Egyptian capital and cautionary measures are being taken for fear of violent riots, as seen in the past weeks.


All this is at the backdrop of the threats made by the underground, oppositional group Black Bloc to storm the palace. The latter has already been defined by the Egyptian court as a "terrorist organization."


In the northern city of Alexandria, the secular opposition has called for demonstrations on Tuesday under the banner "nothing has changed aside from Mubarak being replaced by Morsi." The anniversary of Mubarak's fall is expected to yield anti-Morsi shows of strength in various nationwide districts.


הפגנת תומכות של מובארק. "לפחות הוא היה מנוסה" (צילום: EPA) 

Pro-Mubarak sentiment (Photo: EPA)


In a conversation with Ynet, a resident of Alexandria who chose to remain anonymous, recalled the historic day, "Two years ago I was at Tahrir Square when Mubarak was ousted, and it was utopia. It was unbelievable. The nation suddenly felt powerful. Everyone danced and sang patriotic songs. It was amazing – and tomorrow is a sad day."


"Two years have lapsed and nothing has changed. On the contrary, it seems as if things are worse. When I go to stores or bus stations, people tell me that it was better under Mubarak. The Muslim Brotherhood are amateurs and they have been proven as such. At least Mubarak was economically and militarily experienced."


The most central of the nation's worriment stems from the economic state of affairs. "People aren't working, businesses are closing, inflation is high and the government is doing nothing about it. When the prime minister was at the World Economic Forum in Davos recentlly and protests were simultaneously being held in the country, he said that Egypt's economy is going in the right direction. What is he talking about?"


Morsi's political leadership is also being harshly criticized. "Before he became president, he declared that there won't be anymore emergency laws and recently declared a state of emergency in three cities. But the citizens there ignored his orders and went out and opened their stores and coffee houses. The army remained outside of the picture. That just proves how weak Morsi is."


מצרים גולשים באינטרנט בקהיר. הרשויות חסמו את "יוטיוב" למשך חודש (צילום: AP) 

Authorities ban YouTube for a month (Photo: AP)


"Unfortunately, the solution is that the military will take the reins. If Morsi and the government continue conducting themselves in this poor manner, the army will intervene.


It will take time until Morsi falls and it will be ugly, but in my opinion there is no chance he will finish his term."


Meanwhile, the Egyptian opposition is preparing for April's parliamentary elections and continues to demand the amendment of the constitution and  institution of a national salvation government.


Some of its factions are demanding the removal of Morsi from the government in light of what they call, "exaggerated violence" by security forces during recent demonstrations. Thus, it seems that on Tuesday, two years after the fact, we will re-hear the calls heard in the country's squares back then, "The nation wants to topple the government."



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פרסום ראשון: 02.11.13, 10:01
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