Uncertainty In Egypt Draws Mixed Reactions Locally
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Aired 7/3/13 on KPBS News.
An uncertain future for Egypt draws mixed reactions in San Diego, where some transplanted Egyptians are upset by the coup and other are glad Morsi is gone.
A San Diego Middle East expert calls the motive behind today's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military a mixture of public- and self-interest. Some Egyptians who have settled in San Diego were upset by today's coup; others are glad Morsi is gone.
Michael Provence, who teaches Middle Eastern History at UC, San Diego, said the Egyptian military has long viewed itself as the guarantor of stability.
Mass anti-government protests threatened that stability. Provence said it's worrisome that the military staged a coup, but he's optimistic that elections will be held as promised.
And that's why it's unlikely that there will be a civil conflict between Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters and Egyptians who wanted Morsi out. Provence said Egypt's biggest challenge is an economy that has worsened since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down two years ago.
Unemployment has soared among the large youth population. Still, there remains a national disagreement on how big a role Islam should play in the country's future.
"Plenty of people — secular people, young people, people on the left, the cops, Christians — are unhappy with an overtly religious government on a wide variety things economic, social, political," Provence said.
San Diegan Jylan Megahed has relatives in Egypt. She believes Morsi's ouster was justified.
"I'm very proud for my country, because I was devastated once I found out that Morsi was taking over, the Muslim Brotherhood was taking over, and I was doubting my faith and the Egyptian people," she said.
Megahed said she believes Egypt's revolutionary spirit, born two years ago, is intact.