Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

4 June 2014

Egypt: Celebrating, Sisi Supporters See Bright Future Ahead

Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Heliopolis on Tuesday to celebrate the official landslide victory of former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as Egypt's new president.

Before the official announcement was made, Egyptians had already packed the streets surrounding the Ittihadiya palace, which was secured by army and police forces.

Zamzam Abelrahim, 37, who came with her two friends, had the Egyptian flag painted on her left cheek and the letters "CC" on her right. Others carried large banners with Sisi's portrait on them or wore shirts with his name to express on them their support.

Abeer Abbas told Aswat Masriya that she came to share her happiness along many other Egyptians for the country's bright future.

"We are tired. We believe Sisi will achieve security and stability; we believe in him, he will not allow terrorist acts to take place any longer." She added that she impatiently waits for the day where her kids can go out and not be subjected to violence of any sort.

A stage had been put up and popular songs such as Teslam El Ayady and Boshreit Kheir were played repeatedly as crowds cheered.

As the press conference started, the crowd stood eagerly to listen to the final results. The mere mention of Sisi's name in the conference made people chant his name back while fireworks were sent high up in the sky.

The loudest cheers were heard however when he was finally announced president as men and women from all age groups jumped with cheerfulness into each other's arms and flags and more fireworks were clearly seen flying up in the sky.

As it got more crowded after the announcement, there was no room for people to sit anymore and the area started to appear more like a carnival or a concert. Several Egyptians bands started performing on stage while people started roaming around buying grilled corn (an Egyptian specialty), popcorn and soft drinks.

Hatem Mostafa, 25, said that he believes Egyptians are history makers, but he is waiting for Sisi to include the youth in his plans. "People our age should be holding important positions as they are today's generation," he said.

Mostafa added that illiteracy and cultural poverty are among Egypt's crucial problems that Sisi should work on fixing.

Noura Sayed, a retired Egyptian who voted for Sisi, said she believes he is "the man for this phase" and that he will actively eradicate terrorism from the country.

"All we want is security and stability. We will be satisfied when they are achieved. The Brotherhood made us stay at home ... very terrified to go out and with Sisi, this will end," she added.

Mohamed Nouh, a popcorn vendor who wore a headband with Sisi's name on it, said that he expects from the next president to exclude the Brotherhood from political life.

"Sisi is an army leader, he is educated and he knows how to solve the country's problems," he said.

Hussein Ibrahim said he wants Sisi to work on the country's pension plans. "We do not want injustice anymore. Yes, I am old, but I still want to feed myself and my wife. I do not want to wait for months to receive last year's money. I am too old for that," he said.

As the streets got darker and the crowds got larger, many Egyptians said that they plan to spend the night celebrating and dancing with their families and friends.

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