Editor’s Note:The crisis in Egypt has created deep divisions between families and the Egyptian population at large. Cynthia Schneider discusses her recent visit to Egypt, and what these divisions might mean for Egypt’s future.
When he joined his large family for the first Iftar (evening meal) of Ramadan in July, filmmaker and photographer Mohamed Radwan did not expect to find himself explaining to a hostile group why he had helped organize the sit-in at the Culture Ministry in Cairo and had marched on June 30 to oust Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy.
Indeed, the conflict within Radwan’s own family is playing out in homes across Egypt. It represents a secular vs. Islamist confrontation of beliefs and visions for Egypt and is a microcosm of the clashes and violence rocking the nation as followers of ousted President Morsy fight the army and its secular supporters.
As the death toll from Wednesday’s crackdown on Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda camps, and Friday’s “Day of Rage,” approaches 600, much more is at stake than the presidency. Egypt’s very identity is being contested.