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Living in Luxor - News in and around Luxor in July 2013


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Luxor is Celebrating - The Completion of the Egyptian Revolution

Update (07/07/13)
According to latest estimates (satellite data), 33 million people were out in the streets in Egypt on 30 June 2013 - or nearly 40 percent of the country!

Update (04/07/13)
This morning, jurist Adli Mansour was sworn into office as an interim president. Morsi is under house arrest.

Last Sunday, the 30 June 2013, on occasion of the first anniversary of President Mohammed Morsi's inauguration about 17 million people gathered in Egypt for the largest-ever protest. Prior to this an opposition alliance called Tamarod ("rebel") had collected 22 million signatures within only one month in order to demand Morsis resignation until 2 July 2013, and call for early elections (for comparison: one year ago the President had been elected by 13.5 million votes). The reasons for the no-confidence vote: On the one hand, Egypt was not willing to stand back a further monopolisation of power in favour of the Islamist groups while the goals of the revolution in January 2011 get left out, on the other hand rising prices, growing scarcity of gasoline, electricity and gas as well as the lack of tourists resulted in harsher living conditions and thus led to further discontent.
To avoid further polarisation, the army - in Egypt highly esteemed, what is often not understood abroad - gave all political forces a 48-hour ultimatum (until 3 July, 2013) as a last chance to solve the ongoing problems. Otherwise the army would impose its own roadmap.
Today, 5 pm the deadline expired. After a crisis meeting of the army its commander and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with high political and religious representatives - among them Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed El-Baradei as chief negotiator for the opposition, the Coptic Pope Tawadros II and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Imam of the influential Al-Azhar Mosque. The party of the Muslim Brotherhood was also invited but did not participate. At 6 pm Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Morsi that he was no longer president. This was publicly announced in television at 9 pm. The results of the panel correspond to the demands of the opposition and are:

  • Suspending the constitution (elaborated by islamists last year) and forming a committee to look into ammendments of the constitution.
  • Holding early Presidential elections, until which the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour will be in charge.
  • Creating a national coalition government that represents the aspirations of all Egyptians.
  • New rules will guarantee the freedom of press.

The speech was hailed by the crowd all over Egypt and celebrated with fireworks. When the President was elected one year ago in a runoff election, many Egyptians didn't know whom they should choose. They voted for the supposedly lesser evil, and promised to go back to the streets, if the decision turned out to have been wrong. They kept their promises. A Middle East expert said in German television last night: "We've underestimated the Egyptians."

Tahrir Square in Cairo on 28 June 2013, © dpa

Protests in Luxor on 30 June 2013, photo via FB, Luxor Today L.T.N.

Army helicopters flying with Egyptian flags show their sympathies for the opposition on 1 July 2013, © unknown

Celebrations on Tahrir Square, 3 July 2013, © unknown

Start of Ramadan on 9 July 2013, Egypt

(08/07/13) Ramadan update:
Today, it was announced that the holy month will begin at 10 July 2013!

This year ramadan, the holy month of fasting and ninth month of the islamic moon calendar, will begin on 9 July. It starts every year about 11 days earlier as soon as the new crescent moon can be sighted with the naked eye.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and obligatory for every healthy adult moslem. Fasting means, every day from dawn to sunset, to be abstinent from food, drinks, smoking, and sexual activity, and to put more effort into spiritual reflection and worship. At sunset, the families gather the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar. The meal starts with the eating of three dates or drinking water and an invocation prayer. Afterwards follows the evening prayer. Not before all that, everybody enjoys the main meal, preferably with family and friends. At the end of the dinner one third of one's stomache should be filled with food, one third with liquid, and one third should be left in blank.
If you travel to Egypt this year - by the way, Egypt is famous for its Ramadan lanterns (fanous), homes and streets are beautifully decorated with them - nobody will exspect from you to fast too, but show your respect by going without food, drinks, and cigarettes outside of restaurants and hotels, and by taking heed of your clothing.
"Ramadan Kareem - Ramadan Mubarak" for all who will fast!

Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan lanterns

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