The protest rallies against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi staged across Egypt Sunday June 30, a year after he took power, offered two surprises. Rather than an outpouring of anti-Islamist rage, the tenor of the banners, placards and chants raised over Cairo’s Tahrir Square echoed the slogans of pan-Arab, nationalism, socialism and xenophobia, with which the charismatic Gemal Abdel Nasser caught the Arab world by storm half a century ago. The Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, thrown up by the Arab Revolt, may face the challenge of a neo-Arab nationalistic uprising, a throwback to the Nasserist era.
There was also a strong strain of anti-American sentiment.
No one is even trying to guess what sort of Egypt will emerge from this new turbulence, or who will rule the country when it subsides. Some facts and figures may offer some clues to where Egypt is heading:
1. The organizers of the “Tamarod” (Rebellion) have laid long-term plans for a civil disobedience campaign to disrupt the government administration until it is forced to quit – although the initial phase was marked with scattered violence: Ten people were killed Sunday night and 700 injured, after seven were left dead in clashes between pro-and anti Morsi supporters in the past week, including an American.
2. The next stage planned is for a shutdown of public transportation, factories, financial companies and the flow of oil and gas in and out of Egypt. Within days, the country will face electricity and water outages and start the grim descent into complete chaos.
3. The uprising has a leader, the Nassersit Hamdeen Sabahi, who came in third place after Morsi in last year’s presidential election. But the trouble for the protest leaders is that he is virtually faceless on the national scene and has never made his mark as a figure able to inspire the masses to rise up against the government. Without a strong figure, the uprising may soon lose traction.
Full article: Nasserist-nationalist, anti-US slogans unexpectedly dominate anti-Morsi protests in Cairo (DEBKAfile)