Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

In Mansoura, Egyptians await the next chapter in a tumultuous story

A series of brief portraits in a mid-size city 120 kilometres north of Cairo

1 of 10

Sara el Shoura, 23, unmarried, graduate student. Ms. El Shoura has a bachelor of science degree and is studying to be a pharmacist. She works in a pharmacy across from the university. Ms. El Shoura protested against Hosni Mubarak’s rule in 2011 and was delighted when he was forced from office. She voted for Mohammed Morsi for president last year, but was disappointed with his administration for not reining in radicals. However, she believes the present situation under a military-appointed administration is far worse. “There is no sense of freedom in the country, whether you are with the regime or opposed to it.”

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

2 of 10

ElSayed Zahran, 55, married with four children, shopkeeper. Mr. Zahran owns a children’s and women's clothing store on Teraa Street in downtown Mansoura. He was sad that Hosni Mubarak was pushed out of office, believing he should have been allowed to finish the last year of his term. He was very worried about the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood taking power and voted for former Mubarak foreign minister Amr Mousa in the first round of the presidential election and former Mubarak prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in the runoff vote. He signed the petition against Mr. Morsi and marched in protest against him on June 30. “Morsi made a mockery of the presidency. He put himself above the law and prevented the court from functioning.”

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

3 of 10

Khaled el Hamdy, 60, married with five children, professor of science. Mr. el Hamdy is the elected head of the agricultural syndicate (guild) in one of Egypt’s most abundant farming areas and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. el Hamdy was very happy when Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011 but “a little concerned” that the political and military and business system created under Mr. Mubarak remained. He voted for Mohammed Morsi for president, and though Mr. Morsi may not have been the best person for the job, his administration was much freer than what Egypt has now. “Almost all my Brotherhood friends have either been killed, arrested or are in hiding.”

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

4 of 10

Gihad Zayed, 22, unmarried, graduate student. Ms. Zayed is doing an MA in communications. She is ambitious, and wants to open her own public relations firm. She was very pleased when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power, but she voted for his prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, for president over Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate. A devout Muslim, she believes the Muslim Brotherhood should never have run a candidate for president last year, that it would have been better to keep a lower profile in opposition. “They [the Brotherhood] spoiled the Islamic experiment.”

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 10

Downtown Mansoura where the main population is students from the university.

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

6 of 10

Some students waiting for food from a Syrian snack shop in downtown Mansoura.

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

7 of 10

A street scene in Mansoura.

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

8 of 10

A women walking in one of the main street of downtown Mansoura.

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

9 of 10

A street scene in Mansoura.

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

10 of 10

Teraa Street where three women were killed in July, during Ramadan. They were shot dead as they marched with a group protesting President Morsi's overthrow.

VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/The Globe and Mail

Report an error
Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.