Thousands of people have gathered again in Tahrir Square and around the presidential palace in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, to protest against the country’s president. This time the president is Mohamed Morsi. Morsi was elected in June this year. When he was elected, thousands of Egyptians had gathered in the same square to celebrate his victory and to celebrate that the country had moved on and selected a new leader after a year and a half without a president.
About two years ago, in January 2011, thousands of protesters had gathered in Tahrir Square and demanded for Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president for nearly 30 years, to step down. Egyptians had been dissatisfied with Mubarak’s government. There weren’t enough jobs for people. Food and housing prices were very high. The people felt the government was not looking out for the citizens of the country. These protests had spread in Egypt and had forced Mubarak to resign a few weeks later. The army took over and started temporarily leading Egypt. Over a year went by, and there still was no new government. Again, Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square demanding the military leaders to speed things up. Finally, Morsi became president of Egypt.
Now Egypt’s new constitution is being written, and on December 15, people will vote to approve the new constitution. Morsi went ahead last month and suggested changes to the constitution which gave him more power. Many citizens of the country opposed these changes and protested. Morsi has taken back most of the changes, but he insists on the approval of the new constitution on December 15. The Egyptians want the vote pushed out since they feel the draft of the new constitution was rushed and doesn’t fairly incorporate the rights of the various Egyptian communities.
Many Egyptians have jobs around tourism. People from all over the world visit Egypt to see famous sites such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple, Ibn Tulun Mosque, Luxor Temple, and the Nile River. The riots and protests have scared many tourists away, and this has hurt the economy of the country.
Did you know? Senet, an Ancient Egyptian board game, is one of the oldest known board games in the world.
Did you know? The Nile River is the longest river in the world.
Image Credits: Stefan Rousseau for Morsi’s image; Hamish2k for Sphinx image