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Living around a sit-in

Residents of the surrounding areas of the Rabaa sit-in are unable to go about their daily lives

Blocks of apartment buildings surround the sit-in around the Rabaa Al-Adaweya in Nasr City (Photo by By Aaron T. Rose)
Blocks of apartment buildings surround the sit-in around the Rabaa Al-Adaweya in Nasr City
(Photo by By Aaron T. Rose)

The Muslim Brotherhood sit-in in Rabaa Al-Adaweya in Nasr City is like a “siege”, area residents said in a Friday statement.

In the statement, posted on Facebook, residents said they are unable to go about their daily lives normally, as “entering or leaving the surrounding area of the square requires inspection and display of an ID card.”

The statement also mentioned that most commercial shops in the area have closed down since Tuesday 2 July, and that cars are subjected to a thorough inspection as well. In addition, the residents claim that they have been exposed to gunfire in the surrounding area since Wednesday 4 July. The statement adds that, since Friday, the Brotherhood protesters have been involved in fights with residents over the use of their rooftops to better position themselves, with some residents claiming to have even received death threats.

Heba, a resident of nearby Tawfeek area, has confirmed that she has heard gunfire on the night of Friday 6 July. “We cannot go out because most streets are closed off,” she said. She also said that the entrances to Salah Salem Street, a main thoroughfare, and Rabaa Adaweya itself are both blocked by tanks.

“Last week there was a fight because they tried to kidnap an officer,” said Heba. “Men from the area stood up to them; it was at night and we barely slept. Since President Morsi was removed, they have really lost it.” She added that protesters had taken to marching the streets, shouting: “With our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for Islam.”

Heba said that even in those streets that had not been closed, getting around is still very difficult. “Everywhere, there are Brotherhood protesters walking with sticks,” she said.

The residents have issued a list of what they want:

– Clear the side roads and limit the sit in to the main roads

– Allow supplies to reach corner shops

– Allow citizens to leave and return freely

– Women not to be physically searched

– No protesting Islamist should be allowed access to rooftops

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