Rahma wanted to know
the truth. There were so many versions being peddled. Television said one
thing, Facebook another. Twitter made the truth mutable, ever transforming it,
making it a slave to the hashtags of the enthusiasts. “Everywhere they debate
if it’s a coup. Who cares? What’s next?” she told herself. She had her version
too, arrived at the old-fashioned way. It lay in the pages of the three
notebooks she had filled since the revolution began in 2011. Scrawled in
Arabic, interspersed with English words, the 21-year-old’s three volumes were
her notes from the underground.
Rahma was three hours away from the truth. She spent the early days of the protests cajoling her father to let her go. When it didn’t work, she pleaded. He promised they would go if something major happened again. Her father was scared. Fifty-one people had been killed already at the Republican Guard Club. It was the bloodiest massacre after Hosni Mubarak’s fall and it wouldn’t stop at that.
Finally, Rahma had threatened to go alone. She had to see. She had to hear. If there wasviolence, the world would witness. It was being live-streamed after all.
Many were watching the Brothers.
It was late
afternoon when her father’s maroon Toyota pulled into Nasr City. They’d driven
around in circles as many routes had been cordoned off by the army. Looking up
at the spartan beige residential towers along Tehran Street, Rahma pitied the
residents. They had to live with the endless protests, and traffic that barely
moved. Rahma moved with the crowd towards Raba’a el Adaweya mosque. The large
white minarets glistened in the sun.
Raba’a el Adaweya mosque stands in east Cairo, and is the focal point of the Muslim’s Brotherhood’s resistance following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi by the military.
She walked in at Asr, the late afternoon prayer. For many, Asr is the hour of hope during the month of Ramadan; people believe that as the time to break their fast nears, God answers prayers faster. Many were praying on the tarmac and on the pavements. Others read from pocket-sized Qurans. Rows of volunteer security men sporting construction hats and armed with wooden clubs searched the men. A woman peered through her bag and patted Rahma from head to toe.
“Welcome sister,” she said.
Rahma walked past makeshift homes. Tarpaulin provided shelter, pieces of fabric made curtains. People from all corners of Egypt were there. She met a girl from Northern Sinai, and a grandmother of three from Minya. Moments after a short introduction, her grandson awoke to vomit on the curb. “Stifling heat,” is how many described the afternoon. They had anticipated a short stay. The only clothes they had were the ones on their back, they told Rahma.
Raba’a at times looked like a ghetto, a congregation of people: Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood supporters from all parts of Egypt. It is in sharp contrast to the largely urban, elitist crowd at Tahrir.
“I’d come anticipating non-stop prayer,” Rahma told me. Though Islam and devotion was the great unifier at Raba’a, life existed beyond piety.
Every few steps, often at bus stops that were used as shelters, young men blasted Misr Islamiya from boom boxes. With a heavy bass line and a catchy tune, Misr Islamiya was a dance song about an Egypt under Sharia law. Young boys said it was written by someone in Hamas. “Evidently there is a connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas,” Rahma concluded.
Women loved the song. A few beats into it, women—young and old—would break into dance. They would move their hips from side to side, though the shapeless abaya didn’t give much away. Women too old to dance would clap with wide grins. “And they call them extremists?” Rahma asked.
Rahma’s father had agreed to drive her to Raba’a from Monufia on one condition: that she would read the notes she had been scribbling in her journal.
Settling in was the first task. The main prayer hall in the mosque had been transformed into the women’s room. The small women’s area remained shut. The women had carved imaginary lines into the carpet. More than 1,000 were squatting in the room. Rahma made her way to one of the two functioning electric sockets. She needed to charge her laptop. A few women contested this.
“What makes you so special? We’ve been here for 10 days. You’ve just arrived. Wait your turn,” one said.
“I’ve got to memorise and copy my notes,” Rahma responded. She explained she was to speak on the stage.
“What do you have to say?”
Rahma showed her notes: “For too long we have been silenced. For too long our freedoms have been curtailed. I won’t stay in the dark any longer. They have murdered our Egyptian Coptic brothers at Maspero …”
A woman cut her off. “Coptics are no brothers of mine,” she said. Others in the group turned against Rahma.
Sunken-faced, she walked off to the stage. I followed her.
Amar, scrawny and
pimply with black-rimmed glasses, looks like a geek. He is among the chosen
few, responsible for selecting and directing the speakers. In his own way, he
owns the words of the revolution.
Soft-spoken, he spent five minutes listening to Rahma’s ideas. She told him about the rights and wrongs, about how the people had been fooled into believing SCAF. She had always wanted to talk about accepting all people as Egyptians, about trying to build bridges with the people at Tahrir. Finally, she wanted to argue for a case against Morsi. “He has divided us already. Egypt will be further divided,” she said.
“Electric,” is how Amar described Rahma’s words and thoughts.
A man in the queue interjected. He called Rahma a “martyr.” You’ll get stoned for these views here. Another screamed, “Go to Tahrir.” A man on the stage thundered, “Erhal ya Sisi”, “Leave Sisi”, speaking about the General who had issued the ultimatum to Morsi and had overseen his ouster.
The crowd responded, “Morsi ya ra’isi.” Morsi is the leader.
“Is the stage reserved for fundamentalists? Everywhere they silence us,” Rahma said.
She walked off, wiping tears.
If I hear the word illegitimate one more time, I will scream,” Amar said. In
my two hours on the stage, I heard three people talk about “illegitimacy”. Each
time, the crowd goes wild.
A young man bellowed on stage: “Illegitimate, illegitimate, the government is illegitimate.”
The enraptured crowd repeated after him, waving the Egyptian flag fanatically. Faces with Morsi masks clapped and hooted.
The volley of words went back and forth until Amar motioned to the technicians to kill the sound.
The man walked offstage, disgruntled.
“My time was not up,” he said pointing to his watch.
Amar apologised. The man wouldn’t back down.
Fed up, Amar retorted, “Come up with something new.”
It was Amar’s ninth day at the sit-in. He was surprised he didn’t lose his cool earlier. Managing the crowd at Raba’a was no easy task. On his first day, a short while after the stage was constructed, he was a caught in a stampede. A crowd had rushed to the stage and attempted to grab the microphone. Then the Brotherhood leader in charge of security decided to do something about it. Soon, four beefy men kept vigilance at the base of the stairs.
Raba’a, popularly called a square, is in fact a glorified intersection and the mosque sits on its head. The land abutting the mosque had been occupied first, and that’s where the stage stood. Amar, along with a dozen others, was in charge of managing the stage. He had to vet and rotate speakers.
This fast-paced life had made him edgy. He would often sit behind the stage and post an update on Facebook. He would scroll through Twitter to see what was up. Not many people from Raba’a were active on Twitter, he told me one day.
Prior to this gig as speakers’ coordinator, Amar worked in Morsi’s office as an IT technician. That chapter of his life came to an abrupt end on June 29. He had gone to work the day before Tamarod (the rebel campaign) had called for massive demonstrations. He arrived at the office he had been coming to for a year. At the door, four burly men accosted him. They wouldn’t let him get through.
“Your work here is over,” one said.
Amar daren’t put up a fight. “They were so much bigger than me,” he said.
He returned home to his mother and recounted the event. “They brought us out from the underground just to see how many of us there were,” she said. Amar’s father had been picked up from his house when he was 15. Back then, the Brotherhood had been an underground body and affiliation to the group often meant arbitrary arrests and detention. “This is a repeat of the past,” he told me as he allowed a little girl to walk on stage. She recited a poem she had written for “President Mohamed Morsi”.
Jobless, Amar, like many other Brotherhood associates I spoke with, made his way to Raba’a. Many including Amar said they were afraid of being picked up. Already over 500 had been detained, they said. Raba’a and the sheer number of supporters offered them security.
When Amar returned home to take a shower, his mother informed him about three men who came looking for some papers. Better to stay at Raba’a, she had said. So Amar, ever careful and slightly paranoid, stayed on stage where he could be seen.
In my week at Raba’a, I spent a lot of time speaking with potential speakers.
Many of them knew they may not get a chance to speak but the energy backstage
kept them there.
Standing in queue in a black jalabiya was Abdullah Sayed. He’d travelled for 11 hours by train to show support for Morsi. A farmer from the small village of Hala’ib in Asyut, he said because of Morsi, his “sorry life” had improved.
Already 30, Abdullah was desperate to get married and have children. Not many men would admit to this, he added, but what sort of father would give his daughter to a man like him? No jobs, no prospects. Really, he was devoid of opportunity.
Hala’ib was the sort of place where factories never happened. There was no form of industry either. Most of the youth ventured to the cities looking for jobs. Even education was abysmal.
For the farmers, the path to struggle had started under Nasser and his land reform policies. Farm sizes had decreased over the years as families had grown. Corruption under Hosni Mubarak made things worse. Seeds were of poor quality; farmers were prevented from growing wheat. There were two reasons for this. One was because the wheat grown lacked certain nutrients that are available in imported wheat. The other was to ensure dependency on the state, for if the government provides bread, it will be difficult to overthrow it.
When the fertiliser came, it was of unusable quality. Too often the crops were useless and the water supply was not enough for cultivation.
“What can a man do in a situation like this?” he asked.
With Morsi, the situation somewhat improved. The fertiliser was never bad; the seeds were of better quality. Last year, they had the largest harvest ever. This is why he wanted Morsi. Not because of religion but to not go hungry. Morsi also wrote off the loans farmers had. He had plans to modernise Asyut.
Helping the hinterland, he explained, was a political death warrant. “For most Cairenes, Cairo is all of Egypt,” he said.
Naturally, conspiracy theories were not in limited supply. The powerful want to keep Asyut and most of Upper Egypt weak so that it would remain dependent on Cairo. Morsi, he explained, had attempted to reverse the dependency and now paid the price by being locked up.
Abdullah didn’t get a chance to speak. He had voted for Morsi and no matter how backward his village was, he knew that power had been snatched from his people.
“Where is my vote,” he asked repeatedly.
One day, four
low-level sheikhs from Azhar came after Maghrib, the sunset prayer. Their
presence upped the mood of the gathering. It was the evening after the
massacre. The sheikhs had come to show support.
They were in deep discussion with the organisers over who would lead the faithful in prayer. It was common knowledge that the imam of the mosque had absconded. His whereabouts were wildly speculated on. Some said he was hiding in the sea of faceless thousands that had gathered. Others said that since he was a government employee, he too had been warned to not return. So in the absence of the imam, new people led the congregation for each prayer.
I never saw the same person lead a congregation twice. There was no shortage of Quran scholars either. A sheikh from Azhar who was rumoured to have beautiful voice shied away from the public recital. “There are too many people,” he confessed. There were
Over days of
protest, the mosque morphed into a base camp. It became a place where makeshift
homes made of tents, ropes, plastic, and fabric came up. Men who had arrived
for the sit-in in the early days occupied the canopied courtyard. Some brought
tents and others tied rope to trees to erect tents. Many attempted to hang
pieces of cloth that could offer shelter and create a semblance of privacy.
Clothes, jackets, and bags were hung from the branches. Others slept on the
walls of the mosque, resting their backs. The walls, however, were generally
given to older men so that they could use them as back supports. The young
slept just about anywhere, under the shade of bus stops or on pavements.
An economy developed around the mosque. An enterprising man bought a mirror, a pair of scissors, and a razor and opened Raba’a’s first barbershop. As Ramadan began, vendors sold dates, fruits, and Coca-Cola at the entrance.
For the farmers, the path to struggle had started under Nasser and his land reform policies. Farm sizes had decreased over the years as families had grown. Corruption under Hosni Mubarak made things worse.
The mosque wasn’t free of misbehaviour. Mohammed had his faced kicked in one evening. He had stolen two mobile phones and had attempted to make after a woman’s wallet. There was no security, no police at Raba’a. So the Brothers had appointed their own. Mohammed was placed under arrest in a corner of the media room.
The media room was the only room with air-conditioning. Television crew set up their lights, journalists chased after Brotherhood leaders with questions. There I met Jehad Haddad, the Brotherhood spokesperson.
“Many say that the Brotherhood has paid to transport people from Upper Egypt to bulk their numbers. What do you make of this?”
“Fiction. See, this is the problem with Cairo. They are elitist. Anyway the people of Cairo are selfish. In the past 30 years, Cairo has enjoyed 50 per cent of the state budget. These people don’t want to see their money erode,” he said.
Increasingly Egypt looked divided. The pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi camps were unflinching in their resolve not to engage. “It is not going to be easy to bridge the gap,” he said. “This place does have very strong Islamist rhetoric, I’m sure that puts many people off.”
Was Morsi’s reinstatement still the central demand? Jehad wrinkled his nose and waved me off. “The aim is to go back on a democratic course.”
What about Amar’s assertion that he was hiding out here? Was this a de facto base? “I have the charges of grand treason and conspiracy on my head. Here I know I am safe,” the
A group of young
boys parade past with mock coffins. It is a sign of defiance, aimed at the
army. Fifty-one were shot, many in the head by snipers, as they prayed during
Fajr, the pre-dawn namaz. It’s night when I walk to the spot—20 minutes on foot
from Raba’a—of the killings. A cameraman who was present when the shootings
happened recreates the events for me.
A muezzin’s call had stopped people in their tracks, and they had filed into neat rows to pray. A shot was fired as the prayer began.
At first, the cameraman dismissed it as a firework. Soon more shots punctuated the air and the cameraman took cover by a wall. His friend, a photographer, turned and started clicking pictures of the snipers. The next shot was for him. It missed its mark and instead, hit a man praying on the back of his head.
There are many competing versions of this event, including those who say that some army men were shot because they refused to fire, that some of them were crying as they fired, and that the whole incident was sparked off by armed thugs on motorbikes who started shooting. For the people of Raba’a, it was nothing but an unprovoked attack. The father of the man hit sits on the furthest boundary of Raba’a. He’s not spoken since the day his son was shot dead.
Near the stage, a
group of six girls sit on the pavement, reciting from a palm-sized Quran. Noha
tells me she had bought it from a vendor at Raba’a as a memento of her time
here. Despite the cool weather, young boys parade with water sprays in their
hand. Their task is to spray the gathering with water, a few drops of respite
from the sun. It is commonly used in Mecca and Medina during the summer.
A young boy walks by with his sprayer and pauses near the girls. They wear colourful scarves. Noha and another look up at the boys as they are greeted by sprays. Squeals of excitement rise and the boys walk off, laughing. “This is the most fun I’ve had in my life,” says Noha. She comes from a religious family and her parents would never let her stay out late alone. In Islam, a girl must be accompanied by her mehrum, or male guardian, but the rules are somewhat relaxed in Raba’a.
The girls have permission to sit beyond the walls of the mosque as long as they are together. They are even allowed to stay out after Isha’a, the nightly prayer, and they often sit among themselves late into the night. “I’ve never been out after 12,” Noha says and this is a taste of freedom she has never expected. She reaches into her bag and digs out a piece of paper. It has a number and a name. She points to a boy who stands against a cucumber cart pulled by a horse. His eyes don’t move from Noha. He put it in here; she laughs, pointing at her bag. “Should I call him?” she asks me, and the girls start laughing.
A popular story many young girls told me is about a romance in Raba’a. Under the broken air conditioner is the most beautiful girl in Raba’a. She has soft golden hair and light eyes. She has a beautiful voice and when she prayed, everyone listened, bewitched.
The day after the coup, the mother of a successful engineer approached the girl. She asked her all manner of questions: “How old are you, what do you do? Are you married? Oh, good! You’re single,” she exclaimed.
The lady’s son, a handsome engineer, had seen the girl on the stairs of the women’s section. He had waited to see her again, and waited for a glimpse despite the heat of Zohr, and didn’t move till he saw her again at Maghrib. He had fallen in love at first sight, and wouldn’t budge till she accepted his marriage proposal.
After boy and girl saw
each other, there was no turning back. The deal was struck in the mosque and
women cheered the good news. Sweets and sherbet were distributed to the
gathered. The two were to be married.
Not everyone is
seduced by the bonhomie. On the way to the Republican Guard club where the
massacre took place, past pencilled outlines on the ground—the place where the
bodies fell—new walls have gone up. Behind the walls are six army vehicles.
Some have small red, white, and black flags stuck to them. Two women sit on the
wall, on two smaller bricks. They are both covered from head to toe. I can only
see their eyes.
Om Malek is on the laptop, updating the leaders on the activities of the day. It’s just past Isha’a. People have laid down pieces of brick around where the protestors died. Others have written shaheed, martyr, in chalk. She’s taken pictures of this and has uploaded it on Facebook. She’s informing leaders about routes that are still open. Many roads that lead to Raba’a have been sealed by similar brick walls and behind the fall, as if on the last frontier, stands the military with its tanks.
She’s also informing them about the plans of the day. A dispatch of dustbins has arrived. The rope they sent has separated the men and women.
Om Malek doesn’t like the mingling between the sexes that has been happening at Raba’a. This is meant to be a movement where people come together defending Morsi and his vision. This is not a party. This is not a place for people to fall in love. Even she’s heard about the love story on the steps of the mosque. “What will people say when they hear this?” she asks me. The message that should spread is that of Islam, she barks. Nobody understood the great vision of Morsi. He was going to lead everyone on the right path but most people only cared about economics and growth and money. He had come with a great promise of bringing Sharia. So what if he had attempted to centralise control, how else would he have been able to unite the people behind an Islamic Egyptian state? She laughed at the Misr Islamiya song, as if that would bring about a puritanical state. Morsi was placing people on the right path, the path to god. She wanted to go on stage and shout at the men and women for engaging in debauchery. This was a Muslim gathering, a sober gathering, she added.
Thank God for the narrow lens of the journalists, she laughed. They all come and climb to the top of the mosque and never hear the stories on the ground. She was in charge of security at the mosque when teams from the BBC and a French news bureau came. She even shepherded the German channels. “Thank god they didn’t hear about the naughtiness of the streets; that would really taint the image of Islam,” she said.
A bridge exists to
connect, to make two sides meet by conquering the obstacle in the course. As
one of Cairo’s main thoroughfares, the 6th of October Bridge is no stranger to
conflict. Pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak fighters had clashed on the bridge in
2011, during what is called the “first revolution” now. I’d seen the venom
Cairenes spewed at the riot police. Again in 2013, during the “second
revolution”, the bridge became a battleground. In a clash between pro-Morsi and
anti-Morsi protestors, scores died and many others were injured.
The 20 kilometre bridge snakes across Cairo, cutting over the Nile not once but twice. It has in some ways comes to signify the struggle between Tahrir and Raba’a, Cairo and Egypt. On the road to Raba’a, a taxi driver said, “All of Cairo is with Tamarrod.” “And Egypt?” I asked. He waved me off. Most of Cairo was free of army vehicles. This was in marked contrast to 2011 when there were tanks everywhere. Now tanks stood on a circumference around Raba’a. Many of the Brotherhood supporters I spoke with said this was so that the protests wouldn’t get any bigger.
Raba’a never sleeps. In Ramadan, there is always some sort of devotion.
People pray Tarawih, the extra night prayers performed during
this month. The really devout stand for hours for Qiyaam al-Layl, a
Salama has come from Qatya in Upper Sinai. He’s a primary school teacher. School’s out for the summer. On the night of June 28, when the Brotherhood organised a rally to counter the June 30 million man march he boarded a bus with 12 others from his village. Each of them paid 50 pounds (Egyptian) for the journey. Now he is collecting money. The Brothers will eat together and he has been nominated by the leader to buy food for suhoor, the pre-dawn meal. I ask him about free food from the Brotherhood that entices the poor to be a part of the protest. He laughs me off.
Om Malek doesn't like the mingling between the sexes that has been happening at Raba’a. This is meant to be a movement where people come together defending Morsi and his vision, she says. This is not a party.
“Where would the Brotherhood get so much money?” he asks
“People in Downtown, in the posh neighbourhood of Zamalek, say Qatar,” I say.
“Then can I say UAE and Saudi fund their uprisings?” he asks.
To him, the real culprit is America. They are the orchestrators of all the upheavals written in Cairo. Even in the Middle East. In Egypt, anger towards Anne Peterson, the American ambassador, has resulted in over 150 police officers patrolling outside the palatial embassy and the embassy temporarily suspending operations, Who cares what the people here feel? We’re strategically located, his friend says. From the time of Nasser, us people in the rural areas, we’ve been struggling. Salama was at the Republican Guard club when they opened fire. With the deaths, he says, “Dreams have been sprayed too.” There is no turning back now. How can they stay home? He hits the floor with his palm. “This is my home, this is my land, and I am never leaving.”
His friend cuts in. He wants to know if there is anything wrong in prayer. Is religiousness backwardness, he asks. He’s angry with the people in Tahrir, with the people of Cairo. “Did you see people like us in their protests? Would we be given a chance to stand with them?”
There were always lines between the people from Egypt and between the people from Cairo and Alexandria. “We thought the revolution of 2011 would have united us but how many of their people have spoken to us? Will they ever reach out to us?”
They are laying blue tarpaulin on the floor now. Vendors are preparing cups of tea. Soon the muezzin will call to Fajr and another day of fasting will begin. In small clusters, women share dates. Others have small meals for themselves. Mostly people eat the low cost baladi bread that is heavily subsidised by the government. This is meagre living.
The pressroom is the Brotherhood’s meeting place, the command centre that
controls Raba’a. Watching them operate here in clusters no bigger than 10
showed why they were renowned for their efficiency. All across the pressroom,
men would huddle in chairs and discuss plans, plans that were hush-hush. Often
it seemed like 80 years of repression and working from the underground had left
a permanent scar on the psyche of the Brothers—they are very secretive. Nobody
except for the cluster knew what was being discussed. Rumour has it that even
when Morsi was in power he would get letters from the top Brotherhood brass in
Qatar, and that they continued to operate like they were underground.
In the late afternoon, plates of rice with fish arrive in the pressroom. Cold water is distributed. The press team consists of young volunteers. Many I spoke with here didn’t vote for the Brotherhood the first time round. The second time, they did in order to boot out Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s crony.
For the past week, members of the youthful press team have been in deep negotiation with the hardline members of the Brotherhood. They pushed for changes to the image; the extreme devotion, they argued, would keep liberals agitated about the military “coup” away. Tonight they have scored a little victory and changes to the stage have been approved. Work will start first thing tomorrow morning. There is an attempt now to subtly change the terms of the protest.
There are pictures of President Morsi scattered on the floor. Many of them have been crumpled in a pile next to the stage. One of them is a three-foot poster that was hung over the wall. When the imam would lead the prayer he would face away from the picture but as the faithful prayed facing the stage it looked as though they were praying to Morsi. No more Morsi now. A man is repeating, “Allah, Allah, Allah” on the microphone. The sound system is being updated. New speakers have come in. From now there will be a stricter form of monitoring. They will look for more measured speakers.
“The stage was too Brotherhood,” explains Ibrahim El Kazzaz, a member of the press team. Abdel Rahman El Daour, another member, says he hadn’t voted for Morsi. He explains how the powers Morsi had attempted to centralise were a violation of democratic principles, but he was here because he was “anti-coup.” So after late night discussions and very few hours of sleep, they have come up with a new angle.
Morsi’s face has been pulled down from the stage. In its place, a sleek black, white and red banner has gone up. The old carpet has been replaced by a shiny, black one. The stage looks modern and the writing on the banner reads: “#AntiCoup and #ProDemocracy”.
The team wants to get more active on Twitter too. They want to bring the youth in. New posters have also been put up. One asks “Where’s my Vote?”. In a few days T-shirts will be available. They too will read #AntiCoup and #ProDemocracy.
Many of the people I spoke to in the hot midday sun maintained that the goal should be to move democracy forward. “No more burning of bridges,” says Amar. He’s asked me about Rahma many times. He wants speakers like her.
I go searching for her in the mosque. The space under the electric adapter has been occupied by someone else and nobody remembers the girl.
Raba’a is becoming
more permanent. Two boys are erecting a giant wooden structure at the mouth of
Tehran Street. It will have a banner that runs across it. “Of course, it will
be President Morsi’s face,” one says. A white cloth hangs on one of the bus
stops. Video clips of Sisi are played and people take turns swearing at the
general. Moments later, an image of an Ikhwan brother who has been beaten
flashes. “They’re trying to teach us a lesson,” yells a middle-aged man. He
swears at Sisi too.
A group of young girls
are sitting on two motorbikes. I ask how long they’ll stay here. Soon this will
be over, one says. “God answers prayers quickly in Ramadan,” she says.
least 58 have died so far. Hundreds have been injured. At the time of writing,
Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered the arrest of the General Guide of the Muslim
Brotherhood Mohammed Badie. An interim technocrat government is taking shape.
Nobel laureate Mohammed ElBaradei is the vice president for foreign relations.
World Bank veteran Ahmed Galal is the foreign minister. Nabil Fahmy, former
Egyptian ambassador to the US now serves as foreign minister. Morsi-era
policies are being reversed; there’s been a softening in stance on Syria.
A committee is set to propose amendments to the constitution drafted under Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood has refused to take part in the interim government and called the interim president Adly Mahmoud Mansour a “tartour” (puppet).