Uncertain Days….an update on Egypt

For obvious reasons, I’ve been following the recent developments in Egypt pretty closely.  The situation over there has been evolving quickly, but here is a brief outline of some of the recent major events.

  • On Tuesday, the Canadian embassy was closed until further notice due to security concerns.
  • Mohammed Morsi (former president) has been deposed for “failing to meet the demands of the people” and is under house arrest.
  • Adly Mahmud Mansour, head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, has been named interim leader.
  • The army has provided a “road map” for the future of Egypt, which includes the suspension of their controversial constitution and an outline for new parliamentary elections.
  • 50 people have been killed across the country since demonstrations began last weekend.
  • The pro-Morsi camp has called for peaceful demonstrations on Friday to protest what they consider a military coup.  ***Update – BBC is reporting that Egyptian troops have killed 3 protesters outside of the compound where Morsi is being held

Admittedly, this is not an ideal situation for a country that we’ll be moving to in a little less than 6 weeks.  At present, no changes have been made in that regard – we are still moving to Egypt.  Of course things are volatile so we’ll just play the waiting game and keep an eye on the situation.  For the moment my thoughts haven’t changed from when I wrote this a few weeks ago, however, if things deteriorate significantly we may have to re-evaluate.

We did receive an email on Wednesday from the Director of my wife’s new school that the June 30th demonstrations (the largest of the recent protests) were “very peaceful”.  From what she described, aside from the traffic congestion, things have been mostly business as usual in their neighbourhood.  Again, things can certainly change pretty rapidly, but at least this is a sign that things are not as dire throughout all of Egypt as is being portrayed in the media.

To be honest I don’t feel like I’m in a position to take sides in the current dispute.  As an objective observer, I can see arguments from both sides.  On one hand Morsi was a democratically elected leader.  The fact that the army moved in to remove him from power after only 1 year in office doesn’t set good precedence for future governments.  On the other hand, clearly the majority of the public was outraged at the government’s move towards an Islamist state and their poor handling of the economy and domestic issues.  I will say (and I think the overwhelming majority would agree) that I’m hoping whatever happens, happens without violence and any further loss of life.  To be sure I’ll be continuing to monitor events closely.

For those that are interested, here are a few of the sites that I’ve been following pretty regularly these past couple of weeks:

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