Eid festivities enlivened Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo on Thursday morning, despite imminent threats of dispersal by the government.
Balloons decorated the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in, and news websites also circulated pictures of makeshift swimming pools for children set up in the area.
Brotherhood members and supporters have been sitting in for over a month, calling for former President Mohamed Morsi’s reinstatement in the wake of his military-enforced ouster on July 3.
These religious celebrations have also taken on a political character.
Morsi’s wife, Nagla Ali Mahmoud, addressed protesters from the stage of the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in, saying that she was confident Morsi would be back to his post, the privately owned newspaper Al-Shorouk reported on Thursday.
“I don’t see him or hear from him, but I send you his warm regards, as I am sure this is what he has for you on his way back,” the paper quoted her as saying.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice website also reported on Thursday that demonstrators at Rabea al-Adaweya were preparing to release 15,000 balloons with Morsi’s picture on them.
At the Nahda sit-in in Giza, football fans gathered in solidarity with Muslim Brotherhood supporters in chanting against the army, claimed the FJP portal. At the entrance of the sit-in, a sign surrounded by tens of balloons read, “Happy Eid, I want to preserve all your lives,” quoting Morsi.
The former president has been held in an unknown military facility since his removal from office.
On Wednesday, the interim presidency issued a statement that all diplomatic attempts to resolve the conflict and end the sit-ins had failed. The government asked protesters to leave, and confirmed that the decision to disperse their demonstrations would not be rescinded.