Protests Return to Cairo’s Nasr City District

Two and a half years ago the chants of protesters on a particular Friday in January enticed Egyptians to look out of their windows and step out onto their cold balconies. With ten days to go to what may be a second popular uprising on 30 June, the same scenes returned to the streets of Nasr City this Friday afternoon. But while two years ago protesters were chanting against the then president Hosni Mubarak, these protesters were pledging their allegiance to the current president Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt has since then been buzzing about today’s intimidation tactic to scare off those who want to join the 30 June anti-government protests next week; a strategy deliberately made ten days before next week’s planned protests to warn the scattered opposition that they are a united force and “have God on their side”.

Because the demonstration was held on the main road at the site of a mosque in Nasr City, many roads around the area were at a stand-still. Trucks led this protest, shouting out slogans while protesters echoed behind as they made their way to the site of the demonstration.

Pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters held a long Egyptian flag as they marched down the street. Since the elections, many feel that Egypt has been hijacked by a political group that uses Islam to further promote their political ideologies, having little to do with the real religion itself. As many have stated, using religion for political gain is frighteningly dangerous.

Since Muslim Brotherhood supporters were summoned from all over the country to join the demonstration, Nasr City became a parking lot for the day, with tour buses, coaches, and micro-buses parked around the area. Women marched in groups behind the mass of male protesters.

Egyptian satellite channels across NileSat covered the protests. Presenters, political analysts, and commentators picked up on the message that “you’re either with us and Islam or against us and are disbelievers” that was conveyed to the mass crowds from a stage set up for speakers.

Since the elections last year, Egypt has become more and more divided, with those supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists and those who believe Egypt should not be monopolized and ruled by them. Strangers have gone as far as asking each other for their political beliefs before their personal details!

It’s evident that everyone has a different idea of what they want Egypt to be. Like a dress, or the Egyptian flag these protesters were carrying, hands impatiently tug at parts of it in dissatisfaction, demanding it to be the version they want it to be. With so many angry hands, there is the fear that there mightn’t remain a dress to work with.

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