One song dominates Egypt’s airwaves, blaring from radios and television sets nationwide. It’s a hymn of praise to the army, which overthrew President Mohamed Mursi three months ago, and the emotions it evokes show how the country remains polarized by that intervention.
A shooting and separate explosion targeting Egyptian security forces left at least nine dead a day after 51 people were killed in police clashes with Islamists that fueled the turmoil threatening the nation’s political transition.
Ashraf Fouad has stuffed 30,000 Egyptian pounds ($4,300) in a wall safe in his Cairo apartment. Across town, Niven Mankarious has been stocking up on chicken, cheese and other food to last her family a month.
Egypt’s first presidential race since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster had a rocky start as Islamists and one of the former regime’s most powerful figures readied for an electoral battle and questions were raised over candidates’ legitimacy.
To Mahmoud Sayed, Mohamed Mursi’s election as Egypt’s president a year ago was an opportunity he’d wanted for years: a chance to grow a beard as a sign of his faith. Islamists, he figured, wouldn’t be persecuted as they had under former president Hosni Mubarak.
The speakers who took to the stage last month to praise Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh at the start of his Egyptian presidential campaign were a diverse bunch, including a Christian politician, a female movie star and a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. More recently, he won backing from an ultraconservative Salafi group.