Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak named a deputy yesterday. Omar Sulieman was selected by Mubarak to be his first vice president since 1981. After taking over following the assassination of Anwar El Sadat, Mubarak has literally set himself up as an absolute ruler, the likes Egypt has not seen since King Tut. Egypt protesters are demanding that President Mubarak step down after nearly 30 years in office. The public unrest and mass demonstration initially led to all Internet and cell phone service to be turn off. Cell phone service was restored yesterday, but while the Internet remains blocked, the Egyptian government-run television network, Nile-TV, has now blocked programming from the independent Arab network, Al Jazeera.

egypts president names deputy
As unrest grows, Egypt’s president names his first deputy since taking control in 1981. Image Source:

The past 48 hours in Egypt have been remarkable. The White House and U.S. State Department are advising all Americans to leave Egypt. The United States is often the center of blame for many in the Middle East. The Muslim Brotherhood is very powerful in Egypt, which raises many concerns with Western security and terrorism experts. Most of the violence began as clashes between protesters and police. Since yesterday, the police have been absent from the streets, resulting in wide-spread looting. Even the Egyptian Museum was raided.

The Egyptian Army has taken to the streets in an attempt to calm the situation. While taking no action against protesters, they only appear to be protecting a few key locations. In the neighborhoods of Cairo, local citizens have been forced to form their own vigilante and militia groups to protect themselves. Ordinary people armed with knives and clubs are attempting to keep their homes and businesses safe from looters.

Omar Suleiman, whom Egypt’s president named as deputy yesterday, was head of Egypt’s intelligence agency. Known to be a formidable foe against the Muslim Brotherhood, he is also a close friend of Mubarak, who named him the first vice president since 1981. Protesters on the street are not impressed with the choice, as they demand that President Hosni Mubarak step down. In the United States, the White House and State Department call for reforms and stability in Egypt, and other nations in the Middle East where recent unrest has occurred. A withdrawal of police forces in Cairo has led to widespread looting, including the famed Egyptian Museum, home of many ancient antiquities. The government blockage of the Internet is still in effect and now the Al Jazeera TV network is not being aired.

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