Future of a Homeland's celebration in Abdeen Square on 34th anniversary of Sinai Liberation Day (Photo courtesy of Future of Homeland Official Page on Facebook)
Hundreds of people gathered on Monday in downtown Cairo's Abdeen Square to celebrate the 34th anniversary of Sinai's liberation from Israeli occupation in an event organised by the Future of Homeland Party.
Organisers from the party, known for its outspoken support of Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, planned the celebration amid calls for protests on Sinai Liberation Day against the government's recent agreement acknowledging Saudi sovereignty over two Red Sea islands under Egyptian control.
The celebration, which the party had earlier said would be attended by thousands of youths, featured a stage for performance of patriotic songs and music honouring the Armed Forces, as well as army fighter jets drawing heart symbols in the sky above Cairo. Participants also held up posters and banners expressing support for President El-Sisi.
Party officials had said in media statements that they had obtained permits to assemble in accordance with the law for the celebration, which is set to also present documentaries and speeches honouring the Armed Forces.
The event is just a few blocks from what had been planned as sites for protests against the island agreement, though security forces have implemented a total lockdown of the area.
Earlier in the afternoon, the "Egypt Not For Sale" campaign, which has been mobilising over the agreement in the last two weeks, moved its planned protest site from downtown Cairo to Giza's Dokki in order to dodge police lockdown of the area.
Several protesters were arrested by security sources at the dispersed Dokki demonstration, according to an Ahram Online reporter on the scene.