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April 11, 2024

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    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Egyptian struggle for democracy continues

All eyes turn back to Egypt as the country erupts into fits of deadly and violent protesting, states of emergency and curfews, sending the citizens of Egypt back into a time of a dictatorship, when Hosni Mubarak was still in power.

However, the situation isn’t the same as it was when the Arab Spring shook the world stage in 2011. While Egypt is better off than it had been for the past several decades, the democracy put in place has been shaky at best. Because of the problems with the government and other aggressors, Egypt erupted into mass protests and violence over the course of the past two weeks.

Unlike the last round of heavy protesting coming from Egypt, there are two triggers to the outbreak of violence. One reason comes from the capital, Cairo, and two other cities in Egypt—Suez and Ismailia. Two years after the fall of Mubarak, the citizens are becoming tired of waiting for changes to happen.

The transitional period between a dictatorship and a democracy is taking too long, and the citizens feel as if current President Mohamed Morsi has fallen back into the style of ruling Mubarak had used for the past several decades. The Egyptians are becoming impatient waiting for their freedom. Now because of their actions, the Egyptians are having what freedoms they had revoked and are being sent back into the past.

Morsi declared a state of emergency, imposed a 30 day curfew and threatened to take more action against protestors if they do not stop what they’re doing. The news of the imposed curfews was not met well by the civilians as protestors stayed out past the 9 p.m. deadline.

While protests are happening in Cairo and other cities, Port Said, a province located on the Suez Canal, erupted into protests when the Egyptian court declared a number of Port Said football fans guilty of the deaths of other civilians and riots that happened last year.

A bad, tension filled history separates Cairo and Port Said from getting along. The issue between the two parts of Egypt comes from military moves on Cairo’s part in displacing of the citizens during numerous accounts of military action against Israel in the past. Port Said also hasn’t been invested in and does not receive tax benefits from trade that goes through the Suez Canal.

When the death sentence was handed down from the judge, protestors rioted at the prison the football fans were being held in.

In order to talk over the problems within Egypt, the two biggest political parties in Egypt, the Salafi Nour met and National Salvation Front, met to try and figure out what the best plan was to settle the protests throughout the country. Later in the week, the National Salvation Front called for Morsi to step down from the presidency, calling his term in office “an authoritarian regime” and asked for Morsi to be put on trial for killings and tortures.

Friday night protestors stormed Morsi’s presidential palace, resulting in one death and security forces beating civilians, opening fire and spraying the crowd with tear gas while the protestors threw Molotov cocktails and rocks. Because of these actions, the push for Morsi to be removed from the presidency has become even stronger as the UN denounces the violence and requests for dialogue between the government and the protestors.

After an eventful week or more, Saturday was relatively calm from protests and violence.

As the situation changes by the hour, the protestors in Egypt are making themselves heard, even though it’s a throwback to the events of the 2011 Arab Spring, the Egyptians know how to make their voices heard. While it’s going to be a struggle for them to achieve the freedom they wish without authoritarian ruling, they’re still heading on the right path to a functioning democracy.

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