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Protesters return to Egypt's streets

Will Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's decision to renounce Egyptian control of two Red Sea islands to Riyadh be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, amid widespread anger at the government policies?
Egyptian protesters and Muslim Brotherhood members shout slogans against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the government during a demonstration protesting the government's decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt, April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh - RTX2A5NC

CAIRO — Protesters took the streets of Cairo April 15 chanting “Arhal" ("Leave") — the same slogan that was ubiquitous during the January 25 Revolution when protesters called on then-President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Massive protests and sit-ins were organized in various parts of Cairo, including the city center, on the so-called Friday of the Land. The demonstrators objected to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s giving up ownership of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia during the recent visit of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud to Egypt.

The protesters chanted slogans such as “Bread, freedom and the islands are Egyptian,” a modification of the iconic “Bread, freedom and social justice” slogan of the revolution, and “Awad sold his land,” a reference to an Egyptian folktale about a man named Awad who brought his family shame by giving up the family farm. Other chants could be heard condemning the transfer of the Islands, which had been under Egyptian control.

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