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Where is the logic? All last week the Brotherhood has been threatening to burn Cairo to the ground to ensure that Morsi does not stand in the dock before a judge and be accused and tried. All of us have been bracing for today. Offices took the day off. Some schools closed. All entrances to Cairo were very strictly monitored for any Brotherhood members coming from outside Cairo. Trains into Cairo were suspended, and so were buses.
The police had a very strong presence all over Cairo, but more to the point, they announced that any attempt at violence or use of weapons will be met very firmly and live ammunition will be used. This was very highly publicized, citing American use of firearms against any citizen who crosses a police line, witness the woman with a baby in the car who was shot dead because she crossed a police cordon in Washington.
Still, most Egyptians opted for staying at home. It was a decision taken for two reasons. First for fear of any violence on the streets, and second because it was announced that the trial will be broadcast live on television. So we all opted to stay in and watch TV. My friends came over and we made a party of it. Beautiful weather, great food, but no TV coverage. So we ended up having a whale of a time, and every so often one of us would check in on either Facebook or Twitter to see if there were any updates.
The biggest surprise of all was the state of the streets in Cairo. EMPTY! TOTALLY EMPTY! Those curious, or courageous souls who ventured out reported a beautiful Cairo without ANY traffic whatsoever. Some took a drive from the north of Cairo to its south, which in normal days might take up to two hours, took it in ten minutes. Poor souls, they are still in shock.
To be fair, there were two spots where there was a gathering of the Sheep (Egyptian nickname for the Brotherhood members). The first gathering was outside the Supreme Court, thus closing off the route to one of Cairo’s residential suburbs. The numbers were very low. The other gathering was in front of the court holding tHe trial. The numbers there were also rather poor.
So it looks like this is the straw that broke the Carmel’s back. Looks like the Sheep have given up on their Morsi, that it is now useless trying to stop or derail the trial.
Morsi was brought in on a helicopter. He had refused to wear the obligatory white suit all those standing accused of crimes are obliged to wear. (Joke: He preferred to keep his pelt – another Sheep joke). The Judge took umbrage at that, as previously Mubarak had adhered to the rules and wore the prescribed suit. He ordered him to wear the white suit or else would have to be brought in handcuffed. The session was adjourned. Morsi was taken out, when Court resumed, Morsi was in the white suit. Then all the other prisoners started shouting slogans against the court and the three Judges presiding. Again court was adjourned. When it resumed things were more under control. This time the procedures were started. This first session is a very formal one where the accused is read what he is accused of, and asked for his plea. In the space of a few minutes Morsi managed to reiterate that he is the democratically elected, legal President, over ten times!! He even sulked a bit when he demanded that he be given a microphone like the one the judge was using, but was turned down! At the end of the session, court was adjourned to be reconvened on January 8, 2014, and Morsi was flown out to a jail near Alexandria.
There is general great resentment now on Facebook and in all sorts of tweets at whoever made the decision not to broadcast the session, as we all seemed to have missed quite a few entertaining and rather farcical situations. As we are desperately in need of entertainment, this is deeply resented, but imagination is now on fire and the made up jokes far exceed anything that could have really taken place. We were so looking forward to one of Morsi’s rambling speeches, but alas, we got nothing. One of those jokes is that now that the first session for Morsi’s trial took place on the day of Egyptian Valentine, November 4, then the second session should have been adjourned to February 14 of next year! Another is of several pictures in a row showing the Judge growing older and older by the minute while Morsi’s opening statement, delivered by him, is still going on!
A great sense of relief is the predominant feeling now, and some hope that the sheep have now finally faced the fact that they have managed to alienate the majority of Egyptians and have no chance whatsoever of coming back into power. Of course this does not mean that we are rid of all terrorist acts as yet. But I think that November 4, 2013 is really a red-letter day, it is the day they begin to admit to themselves at least, their defeat, though they would never do that publicly.
And the jokes continue.