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Egypt, it's "Friday of departure"

waiting for Mubarak to leave power

Update 4 February
Prayer is followed by demonstrations while Mubarak is expected to leave. Rebels have defined today as the last day of Mubarak's rule, "Friday of departure". Crackdown goes on. Journalists are entrenched in Hotel Hilton after being hunted and beaten during the street clashes. Videocameras and equipment damaged. The population is experiencing uncertaintly. According to French daily Le Monde, "first morning hours are devoted to the search for primary goods".

2 February
Bloody night in Cairo
ten left dead in the protest

Ten people murdered in the street clashes overnight in Egypt. 1,500 more wounded. The victims are antiregime opponents who had gathered in Tahir Square in Cairo, shot by some President Mubarak supporters.
Nobel laureate El Baradei invites the West not to support "a government killing its own citizens".

Discussion: What will happen after the Revolution?

Vittorio Emanuele Parsi in Italian newspaper La Stampa said: "We already need to think of what will happen after Mubarak, and try to exert all our influence to direct the events and identify the most suitable counterparts among the forces which by now, and let me stress this goes by now, play a crucial role. I mean the militaries, El Baradei and the Muslim Brothers, at the moment the three counterparts which, for different reasons, are equipped with significant resources [...]. This would entail the recognition of the legitimate political nature of the Muslim Brothers, but it would prevent from reproducing in Egypt the Gaza disaster at much greater a scale, that is to demand regular elections first, to then rebuke the results when we don't like the winners".

Janiki Cingoli, director of the Centro per la Pace in Medioriente, said: "The ability to succeed in integrating the streams of moderate Islam in the change processes probably represents one of the key factors in the outcome of this challenge".

Politologist Yossi Klein Halevi, very influential on the Israel government and active in dialogue with the Arabs, defines the Muslim Brothers as "bringers of an ideology pointing to Islam's world domination" and asks the West to stop them.

Also Pierluigi Battista in the Corriere is markedly against dialogue with the Muslim Brothers and writes: "The fact that they aren't placing bombs anymore, that they have long given up violence, doesn't at all mean they are a suitable counterpart. Ideologically speaking they are not different from Al Qaeda and if they eventually won in Egypt - which can be made possible by the army and the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only articulated and organized political force in Egyptian society - would precisely define an authoritarian outcome able to impress an antiWestern shift to the axis of the whole Middle East".

Haaretz journalist Amira Hass, the only Israeli living in Gaza, interviewed Mahmoud al-Aker, urologist and head of the Independent Commission for Human Rights which has surveilled the behaviour of the Palestinian Authority since 1993. The doctor and activist denounce Palestinians have been forbidden to demonstrate in solidarity with the Egyptians, not only out of diffidence towards the new forces but also because Palestine is no true democracy, yet.

The difficult daily life of Egyptians, Le Monde, 4 February 2011


3 February 2011

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