The streets were roaring with celebratory chants, music and fireworks Wednesday evening, as the army declared its roadmap for Egypt in a televised speech delivered by General Abdel Fatah Said El-Sisi — a roadmap that removed Mohamed Morsi from the position of president of Egypt.
Newspapers Thursday morning echoed the widespread excitement, with headlines and photographs in both the private and public press celebrating Morsi’s ouster. The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party paper did not rejoice, and put forward concerns about the democratic future of the country.
The front page of prominent private paper Al-Masry Al-Youm showcased a large photograph depicting thousands of protestors waving Egyptian flags with fireworks hanging like chandeliers in the sky. The main headline reads "Welcome back, Egypt: Morsi eliminated by the people’s command." The front page detailed the stream of events and decisions that unfolded Wednesday, including the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, suspending the 2012 constitution, and the emergence of liberal leader Mohamed ElBaradei as a prominent contender to lead a truncated transitional period government that will home in on the security and economy files.
Tahrir newspaper, an independent paper led by prominent dissident writer and TV presenter Ibrahim Eissa, published a full-page photography depicting celebrations in Tahrir Square with a bold red headline that reads, "The People Triumph." The front page also provides snapshots from last night's televised army statement drawing a roadmap for Egypt's transitional period, along with "Dismissing Morsi, appointing Adly Mansour as interim president, suspending the constitution, and gearing up for early presidential elections."
In a rather uncustomary move, Tahrir printed an English headline at the very top of its front page, meant to address none other than the president of the United States: "It's a Revolution ... Not a Coup, Mr Obama!"
The headline responds to a written statement released by US President Barack Obama Wednesday expressing deep concern at the ouster of Morsi. International news outlets have also been dubbing last night's events a "coup."
Al-Youm Al-Sabea also celebrated the deposing of Morsi, leading with the headline "Revolutionary legitimacy triumphs." The word "legitimacy" has been a source of entertainment for Egyptians following former president Morsi's Tuesday speech, in which he repeated the word more than 40 times, in reference to his constitutional and presidential legitimacy. The paper cites sources saying that Morsi is now under house arrest, that Brotherhood leaders are under a travel ban, and that the army has assumed control of Maspero (the state television building).
The relatively young yet popular independent El-Watan paper paid special tribute to Egyptian women on its front page, running two photographs dominated with emotional female protesters. In the centre is a veiled middle-aged lady wiping her tears with one hand and holding up a placard reading "I've missed you Egypt" in the other. An editorial by Magdy El-Galad entitled, "The voice of a woman ... is a revolution," hails Egyptian women for the role they played in the revolution.
Another prominent independent paper, Al-Shorouk, leads with a bold red headline: "Egypt without a president."
Even state newspapers Al-Akhbar and Al-Ahram, which had been sympathetic to a great extent with former president Morsi over the past year, celebrated the revolution. "Morsi in the grips of the Republican Guard and Egypt returns to the arms of Egyptians," headlined Al-Akhbar's front page, accompanied by three photographs showing women in protests.
Devoid of photographs, Al-Ahram's front page announced the "Dismissal of the president by revolutionary legitimacy," and went on to list the intense happenings of Wednesday.
The Freedom and Justice Party paper provides an alternative perspective on its front page: "People protest in support of legitimacy," one headline reads, this time referring to presidential legitimacy rather than revolutionary legitimacy.
Another headline describe the army's roadmap as a "threat to democracy."