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AL AHRAM (Egypt), MASRAWY(Egypt), AL-MASRY AL-YOUM (Egypt)

Worldcrunch

CAIRO – As Al-Masry Al-Youm describes it on Monday, President Mohammed Morsi’s latest speech to the nation, meant to calm Egypt after days of deadly unrest, only “added fuel to the fire.”

The Egyptian President announced the state of emergency Sunday night in the major Canal cities (Port Said, Suez and Ismailia) and imposed a curfew. In the same speech, Morsi thanked the armed forces and the police for their efforts to secure these cities.

He also called opposition leaders such as Amr Moussa, Mohamed El Baradei, and Hamdin Sabbahi, to open a dialogue about the violence that has been gripping Egypt. The trio issued a common declaration to Masrawy daily on Monday, saying that they will unanimously boycott any dialogue with Morsi.

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The latest spurt of violence started Saturday after the criminal court of Port Said sentenced 21 Egyptians to death for the massacre that took place during a football match last year, that left 74 Ahly club supporters dead, according to the figures given by Al Ahram.

After word of the verdict spread, youth from the northern city headed towards the prison where the prisoners were transferred, attempting to get them out by force. This led to clashes with the police, leading to the death of 32, Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.

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Coronavirus

Chinese Students' "Absurd" Protest Against COVID Lockdowns: Public Crawling

While street demonstrations have spread in China to protest the strict Zero-COVID regulations, some Chinese university students have taken up public acts of crawling to show what extended harsh lockdowns are doing to their mental state.

​Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling on a soccer pitch

Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling

Shuyue Chen

Since last Friday, the world has watched a wave of street protests have taken place across China as frustration against extended lockdowns reached a boiling point. But even before protesters took to the streets, Chinese university students had begun a public demonstration that challenges and shames the state's zero-COVID rules in a different way: public displays of crawling, as a kind of absurdist expression of their repressed anger under three years of strict pandemic control.

Xin’s heart was beating fast as her knees reached the ground. It was her first time joining the strange scene at the university sports field, so she put on her hat and face mask to cover her identity.

Kneeling down, with her forearms supporting her body from the ground, Xin started crawling with three other girls as a group, within a larger demonstration of other small groups. As they crawled on, she felt the sense of fear and embarrassment start to disappear. It was replaced by a liberating sense of joy, which had been absent in her life as a university student in lockdown for so long.

Yes, crawling in public has become a popular activity among Chinese university students recently. There have been posters and videos of "volunteer crawling" across universities in China. At first, it was for the sake of "fun." Xin, like many who participated, thought it was a "cult-like ritual" in the beginning, but she changed her mind. "You don't care about anything when crawling, not thinking about the reason why, what the consequences are. You just enjoy it."

The reality out there for Chinese university students has been grim. For Xin, her university started daily COVID-19 testing in November, and deliveries, including food, are banned. Apart from the school gate, all exits have been padlock sealed.

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