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The MB leader still at large, but wanted for questioning, started a movement of trying to disrupt daily life through continuous demonstrations, mainly in Cairo. But as Cairo traffic is infamous for its congestion, this did not have the desired effect, as it just focused on the Brotherhood making a nuisance of themselves. It started turning people against them with irritation. But then the MB leaders got the brainstorm of an idea to have a sit-in till their demands are met. Being totally unimaginative and having not an iota of innovation, they could only imitate what had happened before, and try to emulate Tahrir. They even tried to occupy Tahrir, but were strongly repulsed by the people, for that was the domain of the REAL revolution, not the one hijacked by the MB. So they settled on a rather large avenue in a fairly new sector in the north of Cairo called Rabaa el Adaweya. They started pitching tents among the residential buildings, in the side streets, on the main avenue and in the gardens. They stopped traffic down that large avenue and started making life very difficult for residents of that area. This was just a taste of what was to come. They set up a stage with speakers and started giving speeches to rally the people and give them incentive. Two of those high profile speakers were Safwat Hegazi and Mohamed el Beltagy. These two were so vitriolic in their denunciation of “the coup” and in picturing ways and means by which retaliation was to be made, that quite a few of their televised speeches are now in evidence against them for incitement to violence. A few days into this sit-in, another one started taking place, but this time in the south of Cairo, at another large square and boulevard in front of the stately Cairo University in Giza. This not only stopped traffic in that part of town, but they also took over one of the oldest Botanical gardens in Egypt, Al Orman Gardens, where every year the Flower Fair is held in March.
The Rabaa sit-in got the lion’s share of media coverage. This was because the MB Minister of Information, who was still in charge when Morsi was removed, sent 5 mobile stations to cover this sit-in. Then the Brotherhood, through him, gave the orders that these five stations were to be taken over and guarded and not returned to the Government Television Organisation. This gave them their jumping start, especially that they hooked up with Al Jezirah Live Egypt, and later on, and to the surprise and dismay of the rest of the people, with CNN and, surprise, surprise, with an Israeli television station! Coverage provided this way was given prominence and contributed to the warped view being spread in the foreign press. This was one of the most frustrating aspects of this period – knowing the truth, knowing that these people are really terrorists, but seeing them whitewashed and dressed up as victims of a usurper junta. So frustrating!
What was even more frustrating was the way things were being handled by the people in charge. Although the first choice was Baradei for PM, this was derailed by Al Nour Salafi Party, saying that they did not want someone who is flagrantly from the opposition. They want someone centrist whom they felt would be open to all sides of any issue. This did not go down very well with the people in general, and it was through the voices of the Tamarod leaders, specifically Mahmoud Badr, that such objections were voiced. Still, another name was proposed : Ziad Bahaa Eldin, a young up and coming financier who would have been good in attempting to clear the economic mess we were in. But no, another objection by Al Nour. This was getting to be a bit too much for the people, so the appointment of Dr. Hazem Al Beblawy to the position of PM was finalized quickly and Al Nour Party accepted it reluctantly.
Then came the setting up of a committee to revise the 2012 Constitution made up overnight by the MB and their supporters. Ten professional constitutional experts were appointed. Again noise by Al Nour Party, but the Committee got down to work and started revamping all the dubious articles put in by the MB. This turned out to be quite a task as there seemed to be a loophole or a trick wording in practically every single article they put in.
While all this was going on, Egyptians lived their lives as usual. This, nowadays, was meant the threat to their safety whenever they went out, with the possibility of being mugged or having their car hijacked, the congestion of traffic, the rising prices of goods, even essential ones, and living with the breakdown of infrastructure. To show you the mood of the people, during Morsi’s tenure, every time there was a power cut, curses were heaped on Morsi’s head, but now every time there is a power cut, we say thank you to Al Sisy for giving us, and our electric equipment, a much needed break! A running joke at the time of Morsi’s rule was that an enterprising company imported from China an emergency lamp that automatically turned on the moment there was a power failure, and then cursed Morsi as well!
During that time, Sinai was another totally different story.
Continued … Part 3