Posted by on January 31, 2011 in Blog
A week of mass demonstrations in Egypt demanding the end of the rule of President Mubarak has left over 100 people dead, and has simultaneously stirred the aspirations, hopes, fears, and concerns of millions of people in Egypt and across the region. With things expected to further escalate, we asked several prominent Egyptian-American community leaders and members to share their thoughts on the situation. Here is what they had to say:
As an American Citizen who was born in Egypt , I'm so sad to see what is going on in Egypt and the region. I have to warn our USA government that we have to be very careful in supporting the demonstration. We do not know who is behind this act? Is the Brother Hood are behind it? Is the far left behind it? I was in Egypt recently and I think president Mubarak is doing good job to clean the country and doing good job in the development of the country. the only thing I disagree with him is that he wants to stay in office for ever without democratic process. Egyptians has the right to choose their own President and their government by having a fair and clean elections. I was in Iraq and I saw how the Democracy worked when they had their own elections to choose their own government. stability in Egypt is very important to the region and we have a big responsibility to keep it going.
-- Mohsen Elsayed; New York
The Egyptian people have spoken – they have made it absolutely clear that they want a democratic, representative government, free from the corruption, and abuse of the Mubarak regime. The United States should make good on its promises and support this organic movement for democracy. A democratic Egypt should not be seen as a threat to American interests, this is not an "either - or" situation.
-- Mohamed Abdel-Kader; Washington, DC
The Egyptian American Community Foundation which is a charitable organization with no political agenda is shocked and saddened by the ongoing developments in Egypt. We are concerned about the safety and security of the people of Egypt. We applaud any effort towards stabilizing the situation in a meaningful, just and humane fashion. We look to the leadership in Washington to guide and support democracy, human rights and regional security with dignity to all the people of the region.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our family and friends and we, as individuals and as a group remain committed to stability, justice, democracy and human decency.
-- Hossam A. Maksoud; New York
Once again, developing news coming out of Cairo have rendered me glued to the internet and Television hoping and praying for a positive outcome. I am puzzled by the unclear messages coming out of Washington, DC and astonished that the “powers to be” in Washington have not reached out to prominent Egyptian Americans to engage them in thoughtful, intelligent and insightful discussion. I know I speak on behalf of many prominent, well educated and patriotic Egyptian Americans when I say we are willing, able and ready to offer our thoughts and assistance.
Our policies in the Middle East have been at a minimum failing policies and true leadership has never been about a let’s wait and see what happens. Decisive action needs to be taken and a strong, firm and immediate position needs to be articulated and executed.
-- Sherine El-Abd; New Jersey
Today, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Egyptians marched peacefully across the country, calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and for a transition to a free and fair democracy. We the United States are the leader of the free world, and a historic ally to the Egyptian people. In the name of our inherent values of liberty and democracy, then, it is in our best American interests to stand strongly with the people during this time, not with the government that has oppressed them, and not somewhere in between. As an American who is proud of our values, I ask our government to make that distinction, and to do the right thing.
My grandparents came from Egypt almost 50 years ago when emigration from that country was rare, and I have not visited Egypt in almost a decade. But my deep roots cannot help but empathize with those who lack freedom and opportunity, as these were two of the driving forces that caused my grandparents to flee for America. While watching these events unfold, I understand now more than ever why they left. The Egyptian people, and those who similarly live under tyranny across the world, deserve far better than what modern history has dictated, as the values of freedom and liberty should not be limited by global region or national origin. Today, in the continuation of a vastly peaceful uprising, the Egyptian people have cried out with one voice for democracy. To be true to our calls for freedom and to our founding, we Americans should take this historic opportunity to hear them.
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-- Sami Elmansoury; New Jersey