Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Splits in the Egyptian Opposition: Kufiyas vs. Suits

In the meeting, the difference between the two populations was obvious, with the younger, fresher-faced protesters wearing Palestinian-inspired keffiyehs and looking bored while the older opposition figures in suits and ties bickered about committees.

From an article ("Egypt's opposition fights itself as about emerging splits within Egypt's opposition," by Shashank Bengali -- McClatchy Newspapers) about the post-revolution political maneuvering. Here's the background to the above:

"The two-hour gathering at the offices of the Democratic Front party in a middle-class section of western Cairo was one of several such meetings that have been held by various opposition groupings over the past three days. It was called to nominate committees to open negotiations with the military — which the military hasn't explicitly asked for — but instead it demonstrated Egypt's polyglot opposition scene at its most disjointed and chaotic."

Meanwhile, labor is on the move: "The army Monday accused labor protesters of "disturbing and disrupting" the country with their demands for better salaries and called on them to return to their jobs. In Cairo, a protest of about 200 workers outside the state-controlled Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions devolved into window smashing and shoving."

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