In a special report this week, the Monitor’s Dan Murphy, staff writer and Middle East correspondent, asks whether the government of President Mohamed Morsi can survive. Murphy, who covered the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, examines what the country’s struggles mean for the region, and an Islamist political movement that seems to be on the rise.
“As long as there is no justice, we are not going to stop protesting,” Mohsen al-Domiati says. “This is going to end only when they give us [our] rights. We are eventually going to die, but we are not going alone. We’re going to take lots of them with us.”
Domiati’s words are a harsh reminder to Morsi of one of the truisms of history, particularly in the modern Middle East: Taking power is one thing. Governing is something far different.
Follow Dan Murphy on Twitter @bungdan or read his blog,Backchannels, on the Monitor’s site.
Photos: (Top) A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi gestures at riot police during clashes as a fire is seen at the French Lycee School along Mohamed Mahmoud street, which leads to the Interior Ministry, near Tahrir Square in Cairo, last month. Photo by: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
(Left) In this image released by the Egyptian Presidency, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, (center) and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (center r.), participate in an arrival ceremony at the airport in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 5. AP Photo
Egyptian protesters run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes next to the presidential palace in Cairo, Friday. Photo by Khalil Hamra/AP
Unrest spread to provinces along the Suez Canal, Egypt’s economically and strategically critical waterway, prompted by locals’ anger over a court verdict passed down on Jan. 25. Residents poured into the streets in protest and clashed with police after 21 localmen were sentenced to death for their role in last year’s deadly soccer riots.
Police were completely overwhelmed by the angry crowds, and President Mohamed Morsi had to call the Egyptian Army out on the streets and declare a state of emergency.
As Kristen Chick reported, the protests themselves were prompted by the court verdict, but long-simmering anger about their alienation from Cairo was just waiting to be touched off.
But in the city, where initial wire reports indicated that as many as 47 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured since Jan. 26, the anger and sense of alienation from the rest of Egypt is ferocious. As anger at Mr. Morsi burns hotter with each death, Port Said exemplifies the lack of trust in state institutions that is present not just here but in much of Egypt, and the challenge Morsi faces in reasserting authority and establishing security in that environment.
US secretaries of state usually devote their visits to the region shuttling between the Israelis and Palestinians, but as Hillary Clinton began her one-day stopover today, the focus is on two countries needing US mediation: Israel and Egypt.
Imbaba, a chaotic and mostly poor area, is home to 500,000 registered voters and would seem an ideal place for the Muslim Brotherhood to win votes. In December parliamentary elections, about 70 percent of the district that includes Imbaba voted for Islamist parties – either the FJP or the ultraconservative Nour Party.
But many voters on Thursday said they were steering clear of the Brotherhood’s candidate, citing disillusionment with the party’s performance in parliament, or an aversion to the organization’s attempt to dominate the legislative and executive branches of government. Many said they would cast their votes for a leftist or the candidate most closely associated with Mubarak’s regime. Even if Mr. Morsi carries the area’s votes, the discontent is a sign of the risk the Brotherhood has taken in reaching for so much, so soon.
At least 79 were killed in the Egypt soccer riot yesterday, the deadliest violence since Mubarak’s ouster a year ago. Some blame the military regime for stirring up trouble to justify extended its rule.
Chinese companies go to these dangerous countries without evaluating regional instability and volatile situations. Now we are meeting trouble: This is a big lesson.
Shen Dingli, a professor of international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai, commenting on the risks of shipping workers abroad. More than 50 Chinese workers were seized in two separate incidents in Sudan and Egypt in the past three days.