In anticipation of protests against economic austerity measures, Egyptian security forces are heavily deployed on the streets of Cairo and across the country.

The government has floated the local currency and raised fuel prices in order to qualify for a $12 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund. That loan is now scheduled to be approved by the IMF on Friday.

The reforms have earned praise from the IMF and the international business community, but they have also spawned rising prices and costs of living for an already frustrated Egyptian population.

Political parties have distanced themselves from the call for protests, dubbed the "revolution of the poor" and authorities have accused Islamist groups like the banned Muslim Brotherhood of engineering the protests to cause chaos.