The nine-kilometre march from Ramses Square

The nine-kilometre march from Ramses Square

Thousands of demonstrators marched over nine kilometres from Ramses Square to Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque (Photo by Aaron T. Rose/DNE)

Thousands of demonstrators marched over nine kilometres from Ramses Square to Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque (Photo by Aaron T. Rose/DNE)

By Aaron T. Rose

On Friday afternoon thousands of demonstrators marched over nine kilometres from Ramses Square in downtown Cairo to Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque in Nasr City in support of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

Men, women and children marched together in protest of Minister of Defence Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi’s Wednesday speech in which called on people to flock to the country’s squares this weekend to “fight terrorism”.

The march increased in size as it wound through downtown and Abbaseya, stopping briefly to demonstrate at Al-Nour Mosque. By the time it approached Rabaa from Nasr Road, where Morsi supporters have been holding a sit-in for over a month, the march stretched for kilometers.

Demonstrators in the march were quick to point out differences between the protest in Rabaa and the rival anti-Morsi protest in Tahrir Square, including sexual harassment and violence.

“There are many women here [in Rabaa].  Women walk safely.  They’re not afraid.  You know what happens in Tahrir—it’s full of thieves, gangsters and police in civilian clothes,” said Mustafa Ahmed Mounir, a Ministry of Culture employee from Al-Gamalah.  “The people in Tahrir are widows of the Mubarak regime.  They’ve been brainwashed by the Egyptian media.”

The square outside Rabaa Mosque overflowed into the side streets with people carrying signs with Morsi’s picture and banners supporting his legitimacy.  Army helicopters dropping Egyptian flags on the square around 5.15 pm were met with cheers and applause.

Other Morsi supporters at Rabaa felt optimistic.

“The Egyptian people are not stupid,” said Mahmoud Zaid, a 23 year-old graduate of the Faculty of Law at Al-Azhar University.  “They understand that right now there’s no democracy, and they’re coming to support our cause.”

Zaid also addressed misunderstandings about the Muslim Brotherhood that he felt were perpetuated by Al-Sisi.

“It’s true, some Islamists may have used violence, but the Brotherhood does not condone it.  It’s not the Muslim Brotherhood’s way.”

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