Some Believe Violent Clashes In Cairo Absolutely Necessary

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.

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“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.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones With Egyptian-Americans Rallying For Change And Peace In Egypt

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond In Times Square As Egyptian-Americans Rally For Change In Leadership

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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.

Area residents have been fleeing the growing chaos in Egypt, expressing considerable relief to be back home. The crisis there has previously spawned protests in our area.

Are you planning on attending a rally? Do you think Mubarak should step down? Sound off in our comments section.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)