Residents of Maadi were up bright and early Saturday morning to vote in the district’s local schools. The Canal School near Maadi Police Station saw substantial traffic with lines around the block starting from 7:30AM. “It’s my first time voting,” exclaimed Zeina, her fuschia finger held up high. “And I definitely said ‘no.’”
The girls’ school on Road Four was less crowded, but by midday, citizens eager to vote in the suburb’s forgotten voting site were disappointed to find themselves stuck in line for over an hour.
Despite efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood to sway voters with banners that directed them to vote “yes,” most answered “No” when asked how they voted. “Friday’s sermon in the mosque was all about convincing us to vote ‘yes,’” explained Mohamed, 35. “Shouldn’t they have been talking about religion?”
In Maadi, the push for ‘yes’ turned many against the amendments. “I wasn’t sure about my vote,” explained Omar, “but when I heard that the Muslim Brotherhood was pushing a vote for the amendments, I knew something was wrong. Today, I’m voting ‘no.’”
Other voters seemed in agreement that voting “yes” meant falling for a ploy by the Muslim Brotherhood and the former ruling National Democratic Party. Many believed that the latter was intent on safeguarding the old regime’s endemic corruption. “Do they think they can fool us?” asked Dina, 57, as she waited in line with her daughter. “They can’t fool us now — we know too much.”
Unsurprisingly, Maadi residents gathered at their favorite weekend spots — The Coffee Bean, and Lucilles — to compare voting stories and express awe in the voter turnout. “I voted no,” said Lojaina, “but honestly — if the outcome is yes, with all these voices, I will not be upset. Egypt has spoken!”
By mid afternoon, a Muslim Brotherhood “Vote ‘Yes’” banner could be spotted neatly folded in the corner of a roundabout garden.