In the following post I will try to explain what is happening in Egypt right now for those who live abroad. I will try this as even-handed as possible, be as clear as possible and circumvent the usual conspiracy theories. I know that this will not be easy and of course my position as a European with a green/liberal background has an impact on how I analyse things.
I have updated this post a couple of times and I have already added a number of links to most sections to give you an opportunity to read more about the various items I am presenting. In the most recent update I have changed four elements. First, I have broken out a section on the position of the Muslim Brotherhood. I think it is important to analyse their perspective separately because they are so important within society. Second I have tried to eliminate the timeline aspects in the last two sections (what is happening on the square and what is happening politically) and strengthen the analysis. Third, I added a section at the end looking at the most recent events and a section on how this could play out. Fourth, I made some minor updates to other sections (e.g. see in the latter part of sections on elecitons, role of army).
The pictures which I added to this post, I took in Mohammad Mahmoud Street on the Friday before the recent fights broke out, after I visited the large (pre-dominantly Brotherhood and Salafi) demonstration against the supra-constitutional principles. Graffiti has become an important form of Egyptian political expression. Most graffiti is done with stencils, free-hand is still relatively rare. If anyone knows the artists of the pieces, I would be happy to add the info.
Thanks for input for for updates to this post goes to Anja, Dani, Rehab, Mack, Chris and TJ.
What is this post about?
I just spoke with a friend at home and she said that she thinks the situation in Egypt right now “is very sad and that she hopes that the elections will go well, so that the country can finally get some stability.” This is pretty much the same feeling as is expressed by our governments. The Europeans and the American asked for violence to end for elections to proceed. The problem is, by now this might not be the real issue on the ground anymore. The developments however are moving so quickly, that they are hard to keep up with if you are not an ardent follower. Therefore I will try now to summarise some of the most important points and explain some bits and pieces. This post is meant for everyone abroad, if you have questions or find things unclear, please let me know!