Middle East

Egyptian anniversary elicits mixed feelings in media

An Egyptian protester throws a stone at police in Tahrir Square in Cairo
Image caption Protests have become violent despite media calls for calm

Egypt's media commentators have mixed feelings on the second anniversary of the revolution that forced former president Hosni Mubarak from power.

While some feel the occasion should be celebrated, others are less enthusiastic, arguing the revolution still has a long way to go to achieve its goals.

But most papers are unanimous in urging people to stay peaceful during protests or celebrations at Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Celebrate or protest?

The pro-government newspaper Al-Jumhuriyah says people should celebrate the second anniversary of the revolution but in a peaceful manner.

"We must all focus on the necessity of achieving the revolution's objectives through peaceful and legitimate means and together begin the process of building the future of our country."

State-owned Al-Ahram's editorial says people should be allowed to hold rallies without hindrance, but urges protesters to "remember Egypt" in doing so.

"Remember it by understanding that it is standing on the edge of a cliff as a result of a lack of national unity! Remember it by not following the calls of chaos and attacking public and private property," the paper urges.

A commentary in liberal Al-Wafd also warns of the risk of violence posed by protest.

"Although 25 January is one of the great days in Egypt's history, many people wish it would not come, because there are people who insist on distorting the image of the revolution by linking violence, bloodshed, clashes and instability to the collective memory of the day," the paper says.

Instead of going to demonstrate on Tahrir Square, the daily argues, the opposition should unite, win over the Islamist-leaning rural areas of Egypt and "democratically overthrow" the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

Social media platforms were abuzz with calls by liberal activists and politicians for their supporters to come out and demonstrate against the Brotherhood.

"Let us take to the squares to complete the revolution's goals," Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei tweeted, while activist Israa Abd-al-Fattah tweeted: "A revolution tomorrow and after tomorrow and we will win, God willing."

'Nothing has changed'

On state TV, scepticism and concern for stability have been the dominant sentiments about the anniversary.

"Political instability is back. Division is back: In other words, we're back to zero," a presenter said on on Thursday's edition of Channel One's morning programme "Good morning Egypt", and voiced the hope that "Egyptians will exercise self-control today".

The state news channel Nile News TV, meanwhile, broadcast a report from Port Said, in the north, that focused on people's disappointment with the outcome of the uprising.

"Nothing has changed", "the revolution has not met the demands of the people", "the Muslim Brotherhood never keeps its promise" and "the majority of the people, who are poor, feel disappointed" were among the comments residents were shown saying.

The Muslim Brotherhood channel Misr 25 painted a different picture. A report from Minufiya - former President Hosni Mubarak's home province - showed the local head of the teacher's union calling on people to "give support to President Mohammed Morsi".

The station also interviewed the governor of the province of Aswan, who insisted: "Freedom - the revolution's main goal - has been achieved and people should focus on work and production."

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites