One year after former Egyptian defence chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi went on live television to announce the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, there are divided feelings over the direction Egypt has taken.
Amr Badr, the director of a luxury travel agency who is based in Cairo, was one of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets last year in protest against Morsi’s leadership. For him, the former president’s overthrow came as a huge relief.
“I just felt [the country] was, you know, born again,” he told FRANCE 24. “That’s really how exciting and how revealing that day was. Thank god the army intervened and supported the people”.
Like many Egyptians, Badr refuses to refer to the military takeover as a “coup”.
“This was the collective voice of the Egyptians, so I think that's why Egyptians are very concerned when they hear that word,” he said. “In fact they do feel offended”.
There are others in the country, however, who are unhappy with what has happened in the country since Sisi, who is now president, forced Morsi from power.
Despite having taken part in protests against the former president last year, Alfred Raouf, a political activist and member of the liberal al Dostour Party, is now critical of the military’s takeover and the repression of both Islamist and secular activists that followed.
“We hoped that things would turn out differently after 3rd July,” Raouf said. “There are a lot of activists that are actually my friends that have been detained, imprisoned, with very strange and very unexplained verdicts.”
Over the past year, the government has led a deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, designating the group a terrorist organisation. Thousands have been detained, and just last month, a court sentenced 183 of the movement’s followers to death.
After years of turmoil, there are many Egyptians who are ready to accept the government’s crackdown on the Brotherhood if it means restoring order to the country. In the year since Morsi was ousted, attacks on security forces have become commonplace. While a militant group based in Sinai has claimed responsibility for many of them, the government continues to blame the Brotherhood.
Date created : 2014-07-03