From his 33rd-floor penthouse apartment with sweeping views of the Nile River, Naguib Sawiris, Egypt’s best-known billionaire and most prominent Christian, can hear the chants of Friday prayers in the distance. As he sits down to a breakfast of taameya and ful, dishes made from fava beans, demonstrators are gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for a planned protest, this time aimed at stopping military trials of thousands of civilians arrested during the revolution that brought down the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
Hundreds of grieving Coptic Christians packed inside a Cairo cathedral called for an end to Muslim Brotherhood rule after the worst sectarian clashes in months laid bare the polarization in the country.
Thousands of protestors started a march in central Cairo today to mark the one-year anniversary of clashes that killed 27 protesters, mostly Coptic Christians, at the Maspero state radio and television building.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a senior member of Egypt’s opposition, urged supporters to boycott parliamentary elections set to begin in April, while President Mohamed Mursi indicated the voting schedule may be changed because it coincides with Easter for the minority Coptic Christians.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for the Egyptian presidency, Mohamed Mursi, won the support of one of the country’s most influential fundamentalist Islamic groups as he tries to make new alliances in a runoff campaign against Hosni Mubarak’s last premier.
Protests in the Mediterranean coastal city of Port Said spread to other Egyptian cities, casting doubt on President Mohamed Mursi’s ambition for elections set to begin in April to stabilize the country.
At least nine Egyptians were killed and 144 injured in sectarian clashes in a working-class Cairo district outside a church, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported today, citing health officials.