Overthrow overdue for Kiwi Egyptians

LIB WILSON
Last updated 05:00 05/07/2013

Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi denounces his removal from power in a video which appeared briefly on a social media website. Jessica Gray reports.

Amgad Salem
BEN CURRAN/Fairfax NZ
AMGAD SALEM: He said in 100 days everything would change. We are almost 12 months later, 362 days. Nothing happened.

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When he saw the videos of Egyptians protesting against President Mohamed Morsi in Tahrir Square, Amgad Salem wished he was among them.

He has been in New Zealand for ten years and has citizenship, but his heart is with his home country at the moment.

Mr Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was overthrown by the military yesterday after violent protests, with the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court due to be sworn in as his replacement overnight.

The country's constitution is also suspended.

Last week, Mr Salem and other Egyptians in New Zealand staged their own protest in Auckland, telling Mr Morsi it was game over. His departure is something which has been coming for a long time, according to Mr Salem, and he is happy to see him go. "He said in 100 days everything would change. We are almost 12 months later, 362 days. Nothing happened."

Mr Salem said the revolution was not about religion or a crusade against a particular party.

"We just want Egypt as one hand, one family . . . that's all."

He and other anti-Morsi protesters felt Mr Morsi was dividing the nation, talking down to the people, and damaging Egypt's international reputation, without finding solutions to its problems. However, Mr Morsi still has supporters, and some don't even believe he has been removed from power.

But Mr Salem has more than one reason to feel close to the anti-Morsi protesters celebrating in Tahrir Square - they are close to where he grew up, in the East Cairo district Nasr City.

The government building in the middle of Tahrir square processed documents marking important moments in his life, like birth certificates and a passport.

His family still lives in Cairo, and his father in Nasr City, a district currently sandwiched between pro and anti-Morsi areas. He hopes everyone has learned from last time, and that it will show when they elect their next leader.

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- Waikato Times

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