Feature: Egyptians Worried About June 30 Protests

 All Egyptians are anxious and fearful. I do not think June 30 will pass peacefully,” said Tarek Ahmed, a 46-year-old accountant, referring to possible violent clashes across the country at the end of this month.

Egyptian activists and opposition have been calling for massive protests on June 30 to oust Islamist President Mohamed.

Ahmed, like many other Egyptians, is worried about possible confrontations between the president’s opponents and Islamist supporters.

Noting that June 30 marks the first anniversary of Morsi’s rule, Ahmed told Xinhua that violence is expected on that day, as it represents the “last chance” to topple Morsi, “otherwise they will have to wait until the next June 30 or the end of Morsi’s presidential term.”

Concerned about the future of his country, Ahmed said that “We do not want to be conflict-stricken like Syria.”

In the capital Cairo, amid traffic jam, a 38-year-old taxi driver said that his fears grew after he saw thousands of Islamists rally in support of Morsi in “a muscle-flexing march” on Friday.

People are scared and worried after they saw yesterday’s Islamist protests,” Samir Ezzat told Xinhua from inside his taxi. “Personally, I will stay at home on June 30 to avoid any violence. “

While Morsi renewed his invitation on Saturday to all opposition parties and movements for “an open dialogue,” Mohamed ElBaradei, leader of the main opposition bloc known as the National Salvation Front, advised the president to resign and allow the country for a new stage.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s main supporters, urged the opposition to respond to the president’s invitation “without preconditions” and to announce commitment to peace during June 30 protests.

Morsi is a legitimate president. He has been elected twice by the people: once in the presidential elections and once through the referendum on the new constitution supported by the president and rejected by the opposition,” Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsood, a lawyer of the Brotherhood, told Xinhua.

Some Egyptians believe that the planned protest would ruin the country, while others view it as the last opportunity for real change of Morsi’s “poor performance.”

June 30 protests would bring the country nothing but destruction,” said 65-year-old Ahmed Abdel-Tawwab, who was sitting outside his store in Giza. “We fear it may drag the country to a civil war.”

John Magdi, 32, is one of those who are eager to join the June 30 protests. He told Xinhua that he was not afraid, since he had previously taken part in protests against ex-president Hosni Mubarak, against the ruling military council after Mubarak, and recently against the Muslim Brotherhood.

For the first time, my parents and family members do not warn me against joining protests; and they also decided to come along despite their fears,” said the young man, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of “only caring about getting more powerful and dominating the country’s key posts and institutions.”

The Egyptians are also worried about potential clashes between protesters and security forces. Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said Saturday that the police are committed to secure order during June 30 protests, adding that “we will not allow using such activities to attack private, public or vital properties or police premises.”

Xinhua

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