Egyptians in Nebraska keep close eye on revolt

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February 2nd, 2011

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Lincoln, NE – As the violence in Egypt continues, and the world waits for a conclusion, one Egyptian citizen living in Nebraska is keeping a close eye on the revolt.

Ahmed Hosni has been watching online coverage of the demonstrations in his country for the last seven days. He’s a research assistant and professor in the Civil Engineering College at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and still has family living in Egypt.

“For the last probably week I didn’t sleep except for 2 3 hours a night,” he said. “Everybody is awake.”

Some of his family reported not being able to breathe in their apartments because of tear gas. Hosni knows what it’s like to have his life disrupted by politics. He came to the United States in 2004 to pursue a PhD in Environmental Engineering, leaving Egypt because he said it didn’t feel like home anymore.

“The whole atmosphere comes to the point that you don’t feel like you’re in your own country,” he said. “Even between the people, the way they interact started being weird, and it’s all because of the politics and what’s going around.”

Now, he said, with the revolt people are uniting, protecting their homes in the absence of police. And he sees the situation as an opportunity for the United States, if it handles its relationship with embattled Egyptian President Mubarak correctly.

“I think that if President Obama would take a step forward asking him to get out of the office and leave the people and we get the chance to build our democracy, I think that would be a very good way to start a new future based on understanding of interests and respect between two nations.”

Hosni said it’s unfortunate how many people have had to suffer, but believes these are the final days of the regime. He believes that the official and unofficial political parties in Egypt have nothing to do with the revolt, which is being led by young people who are politically sophisticated and understand American concerns.

As for Hosni himself, he said he would like to return to Egypt. He said his country needs a lot of water and wastewater development, and he’d like to go back to help his country achieve a better quality of life.

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