Egypt’s newly-elected President Mohammed Morsi addressed his country and the world this afternoon from the historic hall, or grand ballroom, of Cairo University:
The choice of venue was resonant with symbolism: from this hall, newly-elected U.S. President Barak Obama made his speech to the Muslim world.
Egyptian Hany Rasmy [@hany2m] said in an answer to a question on Twitter that this hall was also a favorite of Egypt’s iconic first President, Gamal Abdel Nasser — the place where Abdel Nasser used to listen to the concerts [broadcast live on radio throughout Egypt and the Arab world] of the famed Egyptian singer Um Kalthoum.
Morsi began his speech by recalling his early studies at Cairo University, and his time later teaching there as well. He apologized to students for disrupting exams that had been scheduled at the university during the day, which will be held tonight instead.
In his speech, Morsi said more than once that “elected institutions will resume their roles and Egypt’s armed forces will go back to guard security and country’s borders”.
He also said that “Egypt respects all its treaties + international instruments”.
And he said: “Egypt stands beside Palestinian people + supports all their legitimate rights…and we will continue to work for Palestinian reconciliation … Egypt today supports Palestinian people [their freedom + self determination] + the Syrian people. Syrian bloodshed should be halted + stop”.
Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood for years, resigned from the party on the eve of his inauguration. He is the first Egyptian elected president when, as Cairo commentors noted, the results were not perfectly predictable in advance.
Morsi, running also as the candidate of the revolution that began with protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on 25 January 2011, beat Ahmad Shafiq, who had been close to the military regime of deposed President Husni Mubarak, sent out of office on 11 February 2011 after turning over the keys to the military and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [SCAF]. Mubarak has just been sentenced to life imprisonment for not preventing the killing of protestors during the revolution, and he was recently reported to be on life support after having a stroke.