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Ohio State students react to Egyptian political unrest, president’s overthrow

Protesters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, on July 3.

Courtesy of MCT

Ohio State students are reacting in various ways to the recent events in Egypt.

Mohammed Morsi was overthrown Wednesday by a military coup, about a year after being democratically voted in as the president of Egypt. The head of Egypt’s High Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, has become the interim president.

At least 10 people were killed and many were injured overnight at rival protests in Egypt. About 50 people have died since Sunday because of the protests, according to BBC.

Some OSU students said they were happy to find out Morsi was out of office.

“My entire family and I are very proud. We believe that freedom of religion and opinion are important and are excited to see Egypt gain its independence slowly,” said Youssef Kasheer, a third-year in nutrition.

Others said even though they may not have agreed with Morsi’s politics, they think he should have been voted out instead of overthrown.

“It is understandable that President Morsi’s performance was not up to the expectations of many Egyptians including myself (I am not a member of MB or any political party) and his routine supporters,” Ehab Ammar, a graduate student in biochemistry, said in an email Wednesday. “However, his inferior performance does not verify, by any means, to recall the military forces to rule civilians.”

Morsi’s time in office was filled with political unrest amongst citizens, despite his being the first democratically elected Egyptian president, according to BBC.

Authoritarian dictator Hosni Mubarak had been overthrown during an Egyptian revolution in 2011.

The problems facing the Middle Eastern country only increased in number, though, when Morsi assumed office. Homicides in Egypt tripled last year, while reported armed robberies increased 12-fold and home invasions and car thefts rose dramatically as well, according to the Financial Times.

The increase in crime led to a decrease in tourism as well, according to USA Today.

When Morsi declared that he was immune from being overseen by the judicial system in November 2012, citizens began believing he was abandoning the democratic principles the Muslim Brotherhood, his Islamic political party, ran on, according to The New Yorker.

The military gave Morsi an ultimatum Monday of two days to meet protesters’ demands.

When the deadline came, the military deployed and surrounded the protesters. Travel bans were placed on Morsi and his allies and Egypt’s state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported Morsi “is no longer a part of the decision making circle.”

When reports that Morsi had been ousted by the military surfaced Wednesday afternoon, anti-Morsi demonstrators exploded into jubilee, according to ABC News.

United States President Barack Obama sent a statement by email Wednesday evening, saying he thinks the Egyptian people need to restore a democratic government.

“I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible,” Obama said. “Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.”

He added that the U.S. will continue to stand by Egypt during the transition period.

“The longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds,” Obama said.

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