Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attended on Monday a celebration of Eid Al-Fitr with families of martyrs of the Armed Forces and police (photo of Egyptian presidential spokesman facbook page)
The celebration was held at the Al-Manara International Conference Centre in Cairo after the president performed Eid El-Fitr prayers at Mosheer Tantawy Mosque.
During the event, the president participated in activitiesin a playground with the children of fallen officers, posing for a group photo and handing out sweets to the children.
The president also honoured a number of the families of army, police, andmedical personnel killed in the line of duty.
The event included an operetta performed by a number of artists as well as a performance by Nasheed artist Mishary Rashed, who chanted a number of Islamic songs dedicated to Egypt and its Islamic history.
El-Ekhteyar, Aedoon TV series
President El-Sisi thanked the cast of the TV series The Choice (El-Ekhteyar) and The Returnees (Aedoon), who attended the celebration.
Both TV series, which aired during the month of Ramadan, tell the story of the Egyptian state's efforts in combating terrorism before, during, and after the 30 June 2013 Revolution that ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi from power.
El-Sisi said that the two series portrayed "the heroics of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Egypt."
El-Sisi said that the events of El-Ekhteyar are factual and had to be told for posterity and so that the children of fallen servicemen can take pride in the actions of their parents.
"We were keen that no clashes would occur," he stressed, adding, "We did not assault [anyone] or exercise tyranny, even at the time when the 2013 statement was delivered," the president said, referring to repeated calls he made at the time for then-president Morsi to bow to popular will opposed to his rule and instruct his followers to abstain from using violence.
“The words ‘ousting of the president’ or ‘terrorist group’ were never uttered during the [3 July] statement,” El-Sisi said, referring to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
On 3 July 2013, as Egypt was engulfed by mass anti-Brotherhood demonstrations, then-defence minister El-Sisi – in agreement with the country's top political and religious leaders – announced in a televised statement to the nation the suspension of the constitution and the appointment of the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court as interim president pending new presidential elections.
The government then designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in September 2013 following a slew of terror attacks by Morsi supporters against security forces and churches.
In the years immediately following the 30 June Revolution, hundreds of Egyptian army and police officers lost their lives or were injured in the battle against terrorist groups.
El-Sisi told the families of the fallen: "Do not ever believe that your sons and husbands fell victims in a battle for tyranny."
The president said that over the past seven years he had only referred to the [Muslim Brotherhood] as the "people of evil" in order to give them a chance to back down.
President El-Sisi revealed to the families of the fallen servicemen that the Egyptian army had received three direct threats from the Muslim Brotherhood group before June 2013.
One such threat was to late Field Marshal Hussein Tantawy, who, according to El-Sisi, was warned that the group would “set the country ablaze” if their candidate Morsi did not win the 2012 presidential election.
El-Sisi also cited another threat made by Khairat El-Shater– the then-deputy supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, who is now jailed in multiple terror-related cases – that the group could set the headquarters of the National Security Agency on fire.
El-Sisi added that said El-Shater had also threatened him on a different occasion that the group would carry out acts of sabotage in the country.