The Conflict in Egypt and the Way it’s Presented

Dariela Aquique

Mohamede Mursi. Photo: radiorebelde.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Renowned for its ancient civilization, Egypt (today the Arab Republic of Egypt) is an important political and cultural center of the Near East.

Religion has played an important role in Egyptian society since the days of the Ancient Empire. At one point, in fact, Egyptians were ruled by a theocracy which portrayed the pharaoh as a god on earth to justify his absolute power.

By the looks of it, more recent governments were after the same thing. Hosni Mubarak was a dictator who believed himself a pharaoh. Arrogantly, he refused to implement the reforms his people had been long demanding.

Protests against corruption and rising prices broke out around the major Egyptian cities in January of 2011. Three days later, the demonstrators demanded the president’s resignation, inspired by a popular uprising that had overthrown Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali days before.

Responding to the outraged crowds, Mubarak addressed the nation over Egyptian television and declared that he would set a democratic transition in motion. The following day, however, he and his family left Cairo, leaving power in the hands of his Minister of Defense, General Mohamed Husein Tantawi, who took command of the country’s Supreme Military Council.

From the start of the protests to the time Mubarak fled, 365 people lost their lives and over 1,000 were injured.

A military junta took power after the dictator fled. Islamists and former military officers claimed an electoral victory. Then came Mohamed Mursi, an obstinate Islamist who would polarize Egypt politically.

In the short span of a year, Egyptians would once again feel cheated and begin to protest to demand the resignation of their new president, who had failed to meet their expectations. The people took to the streets to challenge the authority of the new president who clung to power and ignored the will of the citizenry.

The Muslim Brotherhood backs the president. All other sectors are against him. Once again, violence and death spreads across Egypt. Uncharismatic and devoid of any persuasive skills, President Mohamed Mursi managed to divide the country into two opposing camps after less than a year in office.

The Egyptian Armed Forces went into action. The president was deposed by the military and replaced by Constitutional Court President Adly Mansur.

The deposed Islamic leader called on people to fight back, prompting further bloodshed. Evidently, the military has to take control of the situation once more and this, invariably, leads to more regrettable losses of life.

What I don’t understand in all of this is how certain media have framed the conflict. Telesur, for instance, stresses the term “military coup.” In my opinion, the intervention of the armed forces was simply necessary – there was no other option available.

When this same broadcaster refers to the uprising led by Chavez against the government of Carlos Andres Perez in the early 90s, however, it calls it a civil-military movement, not a coup.

Everything depends on how things are portrayed, and conflicts in Egypt will be understood on the basis of the how the news is framed by different broadcasters. What do you think?

Dariela Aquique

Dariela Aquique: I remember my years as a high school student, especially that teacher who would interrupt the reading of works and who with surprising histrionics spoke of the real possibilities of knowing more about the truth of a country through its writers than through historical chronicles. From there came my passion for writing and literature. I had excellent teachers (sure, those were not the days of the Fast-track Teachers) and extemporization and the non-mastery of subjects was not tolerated. With humble pretenses, I want to contribute to revealing the truth about my country, where reality always overcomes fiction, but where a novel style shrouds its existence.


One thought on “The Conflict in Egypt and the Way it’s Presented

  • August 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm
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    Then you are in agreement with the Obama administration which has avoided calling the military actions a coup.

    It is clear that Morsi ignored the Egyptian constitution and abrogated unto himself powers which his office does not hold. So it is a reasonable question, what to do in such a situation?

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