If you’re not following the news out of Egypt, here’s a brief summary of what has been happening the past week or so:
On Sunday, June 30, millions of protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to call for the resignation of Mohamed Morsi, the first Egyptian President to be democratically elected, and who was inaugurated exactly one year before on June 30, 2012. Demonstrators “set fire to the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, and ransacked it the following day,” according to The New York Times. On July 1, protesters and army representatives demanded Morsi resign within 48-hours. The evening of July 2, Morsi claimed to be the legitimate leader of Egypt in a televised speech, and deadly unrest continued in the streets. On Wednesday, July 3, The Egyptian military used Facebook – such a key component in the original Arab Spring protests that a couple named their baby after the social media site – to send a public message to Morsi. It said, “We swear to God to sacrifice our blood for Egypt and its people against every terrorist or extremist or ignorant person.” Morsi still refused to step down, so the military deposed him and installed an interim government.
The scene in Tahrir Square on the evening of July 3rd and into the morning of July 4th looked just like a scene from any Independence Day celebration in America, except 1000 times more intense. Fireworks went off for hours on end and the cheering never stopped. Since then, though, conflict between Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the opposition has intensified. Reuters reports, “At least 51 people were killed on Monday when the Egyptian army opened fire on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Mursi, in the deadliest incident since the elected Islamist leader was toppled by the military five days ago.” It’s estimated that 435 people were wounded.
The Muslim Brotherhood is calling for its supporters to rise up with violence, but interim leader Adly Mansour is asking for calm as investigations into the attack take place, according to BBC News.
But this is just a description of the events that have occurred in Egypt the last few days. If you want to understand why these events have occurred, listen to 12-year-old Ali Ahmed – who is anti-Islamist and against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood – talk about what he feels needs to change in Egypt. The best part: when asked where he got his opinions from, he says, “just know it,” and points to his heart.
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