Cairo’s al-Zaytoon: Where the two sides of the spectrum meet



Tue, 27 Mar 2018 - 06:17 GMT


Tue, 27 Mar 2018 - 06:17 GMT

Egypt Uprising solidarity protest, Melbourne, February 4, 2011 – Flickr/Takver

Egypt Uprising solidarity protest, Melbourne, February 4, 2011 – Flickr/Takver

CAIRO – 27 March 2018: With the 2018 presidential election underway, it is worth highlighting a district in Egypt’s capital that has one of the largest number of electorates in Cairo, while also bringing both sides of the spectrum together: Salafists and Christians.

Walking through al-Zaytoon’s streets, one sees men with beards but here they are not simply associated with Salafists or Muslims in general, they are associated with Christian preachers as well. Here both worlds collide and co-exist in peace, harmony and plain mediocrity. It is not a Muslim vs. Christian world; it is their everyday life.

The high population density in al-Zaytoon has rendered it one of the busiest voting locations in Cairo.

In a statement to Egypt Today, Mohamed Mahgoub, head of al-Zaytoon Police Station, revealed that while walking through different polling stations to ensure that they are securited, he noticed a good turnout of citizens. This high turnout, he notes, started from the first few hours of the 2018 presidential election.

Mahgoub told Egypt today that security has been enhanced in front of the committees to facilitate the voting process and make it easier for citizens to cast their votes. Mahgoub added, “There is heavy turnout in the polling stations and the police and army are in the service of citizens.” Turnout was especially high in Martyrs’ School.

On the second day of voting, al-Zaytoon saw a high turnout similar to that of the first day of the election.

However, the voting process in al-Zaytoon, the same as everything else in the district, witnessed a few different details than other areas. For example, the youths living in al-Zaytoon allocated a number of vehicles to transport older citizens and those with special needs or requiring extra assistance to the polling stations.

About 60 million Egyptians are to begin casting their ballots on Monday, and continue for three consecutive days, to elect the country’s next president, in a race pitting the incumbent president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi against head of al-Ghad Party Moussa Moustafa Moussa

For those working full-time but wanting to vote, the polls are open for 12 hours on all of the three voting days, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The 2018 Presidential Election is the third election to take place since the January 2011 revolution.

A run-off round, if needed, is scheduled to take place in April, otherwise, the results will be announced April 2.

Expatriates have already voted between March 16 and 18 in 124 countries. Due to unrest, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen did not witness polls for the 2018 presidential election.

Expats who already cast their votes abroad are not permitted to vote again inside Egypt during the voting period between March 26 and 28.



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