"Our daily life has been changed after the constitutional declaration issued last November," said Haddir Mahmoud, a 33-year-old teacher living close to the presidential palace in the upscale neighborhood of Heliopolis, northeast of Egypt's capital Cairo.
"Living in the once most secured and high-style place in Egypt, we had been envied by friends," Haddir said.
Designed by Belgian architect Ernest Jaspar, the palace, named Ittihadiya in Arabic, was inaugurated in December 1908 as a tourist hotel. In the 1980s, it became the headquarters of ex- President Hosni Mubarak.
However, everything changed as protesters had taken the area surrounding the palace as a rostrum to urge the administration of President Mohamed Morsi to heed their demands since November 2012, after the new president from the Muslim Brotherhood issued a constitutional declaration which would shielded him from judicial review.
The controversial constitutional declaration triggered fresh tensions among political parties and violence in the streets, leaving several people killed and hundreds others injured, as well as an even more chaotic political scene two years after what many Egyptians proudly call the "revolution."
In the past few months, it has turned a common scene that anti- government protesters went beyond peaceful demonstrations and sit- ins, attempting to breaking into the palace and demanding Morsi's ouster.