Middle East

Egypt voices: Morsi one year on

A year after Mohammed Morsi was sworn into office as Egypt's first Islamist president, the country is deeply divided between his supporters and opponents. As both sides prepare for major protests, BBC Arabic's Marwa Nasser took the views on Mr Morsi of Egyptians in Cairo.

Engy Abdel Moneem, 45, housewife

Morsi doesn't need a second chance. Why would we give him a chance when he himself said: "Once the people ask me to leave, I will do so immediately?" Why didn't he keep his word? Is he just saying things to us and then being a dictator?

Everything in this country is getting worse. The presidency has failed and protests are spreading everywhere. We're going backwards. We still have unemployment, and factories are closing down. Every day, we hear bad news about Sinai. The police are getting worse.

Nothing will stop me or anyone who loves their country from protesting.

Ahmed Hashem, 57, electrician

Once Morsi was in power, protests flared up against him. How can he work in that atmosphere? And to those who oppose him, I say: "Why don't you show us what you can do?" The Muslim Brothers visit poor areas and provide services. They sell food supplies at lower prices, but they don't bribe people like some claim.

Let the man do his job, then judge him. It's like tying someone's hands and legs, and throwing him in the Nile, then asking him to swim. The president is a man who fears God. All the destruction is carried out by the opposition who keeps on protesting. Would they have dared even walk around the presidential palace during Mubarak's time, let alone throw Molotov cocktails at it?

Morsi has invited the opposition for talks many times and they have refused. All the opposition has achieved is to divide people in two groups and made people fight against each other. We should let ballot boxes decide who's in power. I don't take part in any protests and will not let any of my children go. Why would I go somewhere where I might get hit by a bullet or a rock?

Maha Said, 39, housewife

This past year has been a year of horror and anxiety. I was always concerned about the safety of my two children. Morsi has accomplished nothing, and things are only going from bad to worse. All the new jobs have been taken by the Muslim Brotherhood, and I know some of the people who have personally. There are no jobs for qualified young people.

Only since the police went back to work have things got slightly better, but before that we depended on ourselves when it came to protecting our properties.

These coming protests are at the right time. We have already given him a whole year; we can't let the country collapse any further.

Waleed Ali, 39, teacher

I voted for President Morsi, but I regret it. I hoped his performance would be better than this. He doesn't take firm decisions, and when he does, he doesn't keep them.

I expected President Morsi to be much stronger, to preserve the dignity of Egyptians abroad, but we are still being humiliated by countries like Ethiopia. I don't see any improvement. I wish he'd implement the Islamic project - as he promised - and Sharia law, that's why we voted for him.

We assumed that he was up to the job, but unfortunately he isn't. I will not protest against him though. These protests are not in the best interest of the country. Even if we want to judge him, we need to give him a proper chance. Honestly, one year is not enough to fix what 30 years of corruption have left behind. It's very difficult.

Ali Mohammed, 27, unemployed

Morsi is the elected president. Even though I'm against the Brotherhood, I believe we should give him a chance for another three years till he finishes his term. We don't have to vote for him again afterwards. We can't just change the president every year.

What if he left? What if there was another president? The Brotherhood would take to streets in their millions and protest and it would never end. I can't say he's a failure; there are several issues that still need to be worked on. But these can't just be solved overnight. I don't defend him. I'm against him, I voted for Shafiq in both rounds, but no president can change this country in just four years.

There are no jobs, but this has always been the case in Egypt. I can't hold him accountable for that, there are other people working under him who are responsible for finding more jobs.

Amira Saleh, 41, administrator

Morsi's time is up. I will not wait for another three years. The country is going down. The poor can't find food anymore. And people are fighting everywhere. The lack of petrol and electricity are making them lose their temper and they're fighting each other.

The country is simmering. He's finished. Nothing has improved; wherever you go in Cairo, you'll see piles of rubbish around each corner. Nothing he promised has changed.

Mohammed Ahmed, 28, pharmacist

We can't judge Morsi now. The country is full of problems and the opposition is not giving him time to do anything. One year ruling a country is not enough to judge him as a success or failure. He must stay for his four years first.

We can easily change him in four years. We will have at least set the basis for democracy. But if we protest every year, then we will never have a president for more than three months.

If Morsi left only one year after being elected, the Islamists would become the opposition to the coming president, and they're fiercer and more organised. [In this case], we would have killed democracy and let the streets be the judge.

What has changed over the year are freedoms. Anyone can say whatever they want without fear. I'm not intending to take part in any protests whether pro or against. It's a waste of time.

Abdel Zaher Haseeb, 52, farmer

Before Morsi, we spent almost two years without a president and things were so much better. Look around you now: nothing is moving. Traffic and petrol problems have increased. Nothing has changed at all, I will keep saying that even if they kill me for it.

Have you heard of any prices that have decreased? I can't find petrol to move my tractor around the land I farm. Salaries have increased, but the price of food supplies has doubled. I don't get a salary! But I'm still buying these supplies.

There's nothing I can do. I'm helpless and the only thing I'm asking for is to live with dignity. I voted for Morsi, I thought he was a religious man, and knew God and knew about the poor people. My family paid a fortune to educate me and I was able to secure a degree in agriculture, but I have never been able to get a job in the government.