Morsi’s Speech

Just a quick update here:  it’s almost 2:30 am in the morning and Morsi just gave a speech so poorly received that our program director immediately canceled classes tomorrow. “Thank you” seems like an inappropriate response.

He talked about legitimacy (mentioned it so many times, in fact, that his speech has already spawned jokes on Facebook and Twitter) and basically declared that he was not stepping down. He also said that he would shed blood for his country (and legitimacy) if need be. The army’s ultimatum will be up at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon and they’re not backing down either.  Over nine people have died tonight (and several dozens inured) during clashes in Giza and in Ben Al Sarayat between pro and anti Morsi supporters, according to CairoScene’s live updates.

There’s an Al Waton News article circulating that his speech was recorded and he’s currently in Sudan, which must be yellow journalism at its finest, but gives you an idea of the somewhat frenetic atmosphere here at the moment. The Guardian reported that 10 ministers have resigned from Morsi’s government. Sinking ship metaphors abound.

When I stepped out to pick up a few bottles of beer from our local speakeasy / antique radio store down the street a few hours ago, the owner was livid about the Muslim Brotherhood. “They need to go! They need to leave!” he said several times, with copious hand gestures. “They’re not Muslims. I’m Muslim, but they’re so strict, they would call me an unbeliever, an infidel.” He said something else about how they only grow beards, eat lamb and marry women, but my roommate and I weren’t sure if this is what he actually said or if we misheard. Egyptian Arabic is hard.

“America is paying them off. I wish America knew what was going on, what they are doing,” he continued. As we were leaving, another customer entered the store, chanting “Down, down with the regime!”

So far, everyone I’ve spoken with here is over Morsi and wants the Muslim Brotherhood out. That’s starting to seem more and more like a potential reality as events progress. There were problems when the army was in power two years ago as well, however, as beloved as they are by the Egyptian people. There’s no perfect solution on the table.

In the meantime, here’s a picture (also from CairoScene) of protesters drawing the word “Leave!” on a building in Tahrir Square.

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