Cory Ellis, Arkansas Abroad, Egypt

  • Arkansas Abroad
  • ELLIS: In the middle of it.

Cory Ellis, a University of Arkansas graduate and George Washington University grad student now living in Cairo, reports for Arkansas Abroad on what’s happening in the Egyptian capital as protesters continue their efforts to oust President Hosni Mubarak. From the New York Times:


“According to the Associated Press, Egyptian security officials said they had placed the most prominent opposition figures, Mohamed ElBaradei, under house arrest, but that could not be independently confirmed and reports throughout the day had been contradictory. Shortly before, police doused Mr. ElBaradei with a water cannon and beat supporters who tried to shield him. Mr. ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Cairo on Thursday, promising to join the largely leaderless protests that have so far been propelled by young people.”

Ellis says he feels safe for the moment and protesters have urged him to get the word out about what’s happening in the streets of Cairo. He says the focus of most Western news outlets has been on ElBaradei, which he finds a bit misguided.

“The major protest happened on Jan. 25 and ElBaradei was supportive of that but didn’t really throw his weight behind it. He’s supported by ‘Western media’ but in reality, Baradei has had nothing to do with what’s happening now. The Muslim Brotherhood told heir members not to go out and protest on Jan. 25. After the protests became large, the Muslim Brotherhood has thrown their support behind what we can now call a revolt. It’s extremely interesting for me to see that CNN and the New York Times have labeled ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood as catalysts for this revolution, but as I said, they’re really just jumping on the bandwagon. The feeling I have from getting around the streets of Cairo is any support is welcomed… This revolt has gone from Twitter and Facebook to the consciousness of basically every Egyptian.”

Audio of Ellis’s full interview can be found here.