NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Egyptian-Americans protested in Times Square Friday afternoon, coinciding with a huge demonstration in Egypt’s capital, Cairo. More than 60,000 Egyptian-Americans live in the Tri-State Area, making it the largest community of its kind in the nation.
Ten days into the protests overseas, Egyptians in Times Square said they fear for their families, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery. The disarray is making getting necessities – going to the supermarket or the bank — nearly impossible.
“It is very painful, especially when you cannot reach them. The most difficult part is when I try to call and nobody answer you,” said Khaled Lameda of Staten Island.
Lameda said he has brothers, sisters and cousins in Egypt. But despite the turmoil, he’s one of many Egyptians calling the uprising bittersweet.
“I really worry about them, but I’m so happy for them,” he said.
Nancy El Shami said she’s happy because the oppressed have taken a stand.
“It’s been a stressful time but it’s been an exciting time. It has broken this great barrier of fear that has shackled them for the past 30 years,” El Shami said.
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In the past week, Egyptian Americans have gathered in coffee shops and restaurants in Queens’ Little Egypt, glued to TV sets broadcasting bloody clashes in Cairo.
The larger rally in Cairo has been dubbed by protesters there as “the day of departure.” They are hoping to get Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
“We want him gone now. Not in six month, not in another five years,” Jersey City’s Yasser Elbaz told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
“The Egyptian president has ruined our country for 30 years and enough is enough,” added Mohi Hatab of Brooklyn.
Are you planning on attending a rally? Do you think Mubarak should step down? Sound off in our comments section.
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