By ALAN THATCHER
I can’t think of many world sports champions who would take part in a massive political rally and upload pictures to Facebook and Twitter.
But that’s what squash’s world No.1 Ramy Ashour has been doing these past few days as tension mounts in Cairo and the public take to the streets in enormous numbers to voice their lack of faith in the new president, Mohammed Morsi.
Ashour, who yesterday celebrated his seventh consecutive month at the top of the PSA world rankings, uploaded a picture to Twitter showing the streets of Cairo filled with hundreds of thousands of protestors in the vicinity of Tahrir Square, the venue for much activity during last year’s uprising that toppled the previous president, Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptians clearly thought they were ushering in a new democratic government. Instead, they are outraged that Morsi is acting like a dictator backed by the archaic religious rules spouted by the Muslim Brotherhood.
During massive protests on Sunday, when millions took to the streets, eight people died during clashes between the marchers and those loyal to Morsi.
In one attack, the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo was ransacked, with police standing by as staff inside the building fired on the demonstrators.
Accompanying an aerial photograph showing the throngs surrounding Tahrir Square, Ashour wrote: “This is the real Egypt and the real Egyptians when they unite for the sake of their country’s pride.”
Ashour’s brother, Hisham, had flown back from his new base in New York for a family holiday and joined him on the streets of Cairo. Ramy published a photograph on Facebook showing the two of them with friends, with the following caption:
“Very proud to participate and be a part of the great 30th June revolution, with all the true Egyptians who truly love their country and want the best for it.”
Today, after the Egyptian army had given the warring political parties 48 hours to resolve the turmoil, Hisham wrote:
“I am soooo happy that I was alive to hear and witness what the head of army said now …the country happy and dancing … The whole country is on the street now after this speech . Iwish the whole world was here now to get inspired by 0ver 30 million on the streets dancing and asking for 1 thing in 1 breath ,,,,,,, Egyptian and prouddddddddddddd.”
Former world champion Amr Shabana added his voice to the Egyptian debate when he Tweeted a famous phrase from Abraham Lincoln:
“The sin of silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”