“Allah save Egypt,” said the banner running on the bottom of the screen of the Al Arabiya news channel.
“It doesn’t matter who is elected. The main thing is that he’ll protect Egypt,” a fellah from the Dakahlia Governorate, northeast of Cairo, told a reporter from a state television channel.
Then Hajja Fatma, a veil covering her entire face, told the reporter what was meant by saving, or protecting, Egypt: “We have no security. Every day there are attacks against people in the neighborhood, and there are absolutely no police, no one to turn to for help. They hurt old people, rob homes, and kidnap children for ransom. Allah, Allah, we need order.”
Al Jazeera showed a group of men boiling coffee over an open fire. One man had a machete in one hand, another held a club and a third stirred the coffee. “These men decided to protect their neighborhood,” the reporter explains. The men, who wear long, dress-like abayas and are from a poor neighborhood, say they were fed up with there being no one to protect the citizens. “By the time the police or the army arrive, the criminals are gone. That’s why we’re here.”
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