Saturday, 27 December 2014

What has been happening in Egypt since the Arab Spring

I can’t believe that it has been more than two years since I last posted here so I suppose my New Year Resolution should be to be more active on my blog.

I am sure you are wondering the reasons for the absence.  One was that due to the Arab Spring the internet connection was very iffy.  In fact at one stage they turned it off completely together with the mobile telephone network.

As many of you are probably aware there was the Arab Spring which, here in Egypt, meant the disposal of Mubarak as president of the country on 11 February 2011 following 18 days of mass protests mainly in Tahrir square.  The majority of the protests took place in Cairo and Luxor (a distance of 721 Km or 447 which is further than the distance between Crawley and Edinburgh, which is 356 miles as the crow flies) was pretty much unaffected.  There were one or two demonstrations in the beginning but they died down very quickly.

Following a transitional period overseen by Field Marshal Tantawi a new constitution was drawn up and there were the first ‘democratic’ elections which saw Morsi inaugurated as president on 30 June 2011.  What followed was a year of inactivity and inattention to the problems facing Egypt in favour of furthering the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

I did manage to meet Morsi when he visited Luxor and asked him why there was no police presence as a friend of mine had been broken into and various items were stolen.  As with any politician he gave a non-answer and was more interested in his freebie visit that on dealing with questions from the populous.  The photo was posted on Facebook and the very brief interview was apparently shown on television – when I went shopping the following week someone said they had seen me.  (If I find the picture I will post it).

After a year of his rule, Egypt was in a worse place than they ever were under the corrupt Mubarak, diesel shortages, gas shortages and electricity shortages and hence drastic price increases.  The populous eventually said enough is enough and on 30 June 2012 there was a coup d'├ętat after millions of protesters across Egypt took to the streets and demanded the immediate resignation of the president. And on 3 July 2013, when he was removed by Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.  Sisi presided over an interim government and following a landslide election President Sisi was sworn into office on 8 June 2014.

When I moved here I did not envision myself living through not one but two revolutions and unlike many other countries that have suffered the same fate; and worse, Luxor was left unscathed.  Whilst there are still the odd protest by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood (which Sisi has subsequently outlawed) these are still occurring in Cairo and do not affect Luxor at all.  But as one would do in any other country visitors need to be aware of the situation within which they find themselves and if they are confronted by a hoard of people they should make efforts to remove themselves from that situation.  That being said Luxor is very very safe and unaffected. 

So if you are interested in a cheap holiday with lots of sun please come and visit this wonderful country.  You will see some wonderful sights and will be welcomed with open arms.  Please note the Pyramids are in Cairo not Luxor which has a plethora of tombs and temples, including Karnak, the biggest temple complex in the world.  Come and escape the madness of the 21st Century and take a step back in time.