Augustans celebrate Egypt uprising

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Members and friends of Augusta's Egyptian-American community gathered in a west Augusta park Sunday to celebrate the uprising that led to the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak.

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Yousra Abo-Elhamel (from left), 8; Lena Al-Shabrawey, 10; and Mariam El-Geneidy, 10, were among the members of Augusta's Egyptian-American community celebrating the removal of Egypt's president at Brookfield Park on Sunday.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Yousra Abo-Elhamel (from left), 8; Lena Al-Shabrawey, 10; and Mariam El-Geneidy, 10, were among the members of Augusta's Egyptian-American community celebrating the removal of Egypt's president at Brookfield Park on Sunday.

"We are very excited, definitely," said Dr. Emad Francis, a learning specialist at Hephzibah High School who was born in Egypt. "We are meeting today to celebrate a new era in Egypt, supporting Egyptians for standing for a new election."

Earlier Sunday, military rulers took action to dismantle the authoritarian regime that gripped the country for nearly 30 years under Mubarak's rule, dissolving its parliament, suspending the constitution and promising elections.

Nahla Swedan, who was among the few dozen people who gathered at Brookfield Park, said she had initially been skeptical that the uprising would succeed after seeing others fail.

"It's incredible," said Swedan, the chairwoman of humanities at Georgia Military College. "The first couple of days, I thought it was one of those things, but they stayed and they stayed their ground. It was so inspiring."

Francis said he knew from the start that the uprising would be a success.

"Egyptians are the people of the country, not Mubarak," he said. "They deserve a new democratic regime, and they will get it."

Magdi Idries is a native of Sudan, but his mother is Egyptian and he studied at a university in Cairo before coming to the United States.

While visiting the country in June, he saw people suffering.

"Everything is controlled by people who are very close to the government," Idries said. "Now I can see the change. It's going to get better, and they're going to change everything, by the way."

Associated Press reports were used in this story.

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bclicious 02/14/11 - 05:51 am
Yea, Yea, this is so

Yea, Yea, this is so important for Augusta. I can't wait to see how this impacts Augusta! This is just amazing.


Cadence 02/14/11 - 08:56 am
I'm still confused about how

I'm still confused about how this seemed to come out of nowhere. I mean, I am very well read, I read the newspapers and blogs from all over the world including the ones that are not government approved, but I never heard about suffering and misery in Egypt. I only saw a democratic, sane country, people getting educated, people living lives about as well as anywhere else, some wealthy, some poor. Like America. I am not saying that the problems are not real, I just don't understand why I never heard of them before last month. Sometimes I feel like I am in Orwell's 1984 "We used to be at war with Oceana but now we are at war with the other country."

WW1949 02/14/11 - 10:48 am
A little drastice aren't you,

A little drastice aren't you, real USA.
From where did youre relatives come. Mine came from Whales along time ago.

whackgirl17 02/14/11 - 11:43 am
I swore that I would never

I swore that I would never post a comment here but I can't stand it! Like a train wreck that you can't look away from, I sometimes read the small-minded, ignorant and misspelled comments on this website. I can honestly say I have never been more embarrased to live in Augusta than after reading the posts for this article. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Unless you are a Native American you have no right to tell anyone to get out of this country. What happened in Egypt is important to all of us whether you can understand it or not. And although you kind of have the right idea, Wales is the country. If your people came from whales then you are probably very heavy and had a hard time typing your post with your flippers.

Chillen 02/14/11 - 12:34 pm
Everyone has different

Everyone has different opinions, that's what makes the world go round whackgirl. I seriously doubt they are ashamed of THEIR opinion, nor should they be.

What happened in Egypt is important to us. Very important. Millions of barrels of oil flow through the Suez canal. 99.9% of society uses oil or products touched by oil.

My biggest fear with this whole thing is what they will end up with vs what they had. The new regime might not be so America "friendly" and cause all sorts of middle east problems (like we don't have enough already!).

rotahog 02/14/11 - 02:19 pm
I'm glad to hear I live in

I'm glad to hear I live in the same town as some of you brainiacs... putting down people because they are celebrating getting rid of a corrupt dictator of 30 years ?? I think you need a taste of being arrested in the middle of the night for having a particular political view and languishing in a hole for a few years before you even see a lawyer ! This country was built on immigration ( we stole it from the natives btw) if you forgot your history lessons !! HIYA ALMISR AL DEMAKRATI !! which means long live the egyptian democracy and guess what, I'm serving in the USN in the middle east to promote democracy...not denouncing fellow american citizens' right to freedom of speech !

LysanderSpooner 02/14/11 - 02:21 pm
Now if only Augustans would

Now if only Augustans would grow a pair, and overthrow their corrupt local and state government, police forces, and military. They can start with rotten as hell Columbia Country, and work their way outward.

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