News / Middle East

Anti-Mubarak Activists Stage Rally in Los Angeles

Protesters at the anti-Mubarak rally in Los Angeles, February 5, 2011
Protesters at the anti-Mubarak rally in Los Angeles, February 5, 2011

Hundreds of protesters assembled on Saturday at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California, to express solidarity with anti-Mubarak demonstrators in Egypt. Many protestors were Egyptian-Americans, recent immigrants as well as long-time US residents. They were joined by immigrants from Iran and ordinary Americans.

Besides calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down, protesters waived signs demanding the US stop providing aid to the government led by him.

Many people expressed their feelings as mixed, proud of the courageous demonstrators in Egypt, optimistic for change, yet all the while concerned for the safety of the Egyptian people. Also, in the midst of the protest, a group of Muslims prayed in front of the federal building.

Watch raw video from the rally:

Listen to what some of the protesters had to say:

Sana Ezzat came to the protest from Las Vegas. She was born and raised in Cairo, but has lived in the U.S. for more than 40 years. She admires her former countrymen for finally speaking out.

“This is injustice, no one can accept that. I feel for the people that have the courage to speak their mind finally, it’s way overdue, I’m so glad that they had the courage to come out and say how they feel, and it’s about time for the president to understand their feeling, and depart peacefully before there is more bloodshed in this process.”

Thirty-year-old Karim El Defrawy was also was born in Egypt, but moved to the U.S. five years ago to study.

“Some of my friends [in Egypt] got injured and they had to carry dead people on their shoulders. And all their demands are legitimate demands, they didn’t ask for anything extra or something that they don’t deserve… I grew up in Egypt and unfortunately there isn’t a lot of free speech. And the media is used as a tool for propaganda and to scare the people and it’s sad. On the other hand, the people finally have broken the barrier of fear, the fear barrier and their voice has been heard, and at this point it’s up to them, I guess.”

Twenty-nine-year-old Wale El Haddad came to the U.S. from Egypt two and a half years ago.

”All over Egypt, in Cairo, in Tahrir Square, in Alexandria and Suez, we are sending a message for them that we stand behind them. And we are sending the message also to the US authorities that they have to stop their aid to the Egyptian government. They send every year more than a billion dollars in aid for security of the Egyptian government. They have to stop that. They have to take the side of the Egyptian people; they have to force this regime to step down.”

Simone Larson, a 20-year-old American, studied in Cairo for four months, and just came back to the U.S. two and half weeks ago.

”Now seeing all the people just revolting, just coming up and rising against the government, you know, it’s very empowering even for me all the way over here in America. I support the Egyptian people and I want to be there for them, I want to help spread the word, I want to help them achieve democracy and achieve a free election.”

Dr. Osama Haikal, a physician living and working in Las Vegas, was among the organizers of the Los Angeles rally.

“If our [American] interest in Egypt and the world in general needs a ruthless, blood-sucking dictator to be served, than there is something morally wrong with our interest. It’s time for us here in the U.S. to examine our morality, our interest in the Middle East. If our interest needs a dictator, than we are wrong, we are dead wrong…. If we don’t stand at the right side of history today with the Egyptian people, you are going to get what you’re afraid of, period. History never lies. It repeats itself over and over and over; it’s for us to learn the lesson.”

The protesters were joined also by members of the local Iranian community.

Neseer Emamy believes that the events in Egypt will inspire others in the region.

”As an Iranian in support of freedom and of governments for and by the people for our country and for all countries in the world, with great interest I’m watching this movement and I’m convinced that this is the beginning of a renaissance for the region and it will have a positive impact, particularly for our sweet homeland Iran.”

Another Iranian, who gave his name as Paymaun, shared Neseer’s view.

”As an Iranian with a dream for democracy in Iran, when I see this uprising in Tunisia, in Egypt and the continuation of the Green movement in Iran, I become hopeful that there will be a future of democracy in the Middle East.”

The protest was mainly organized by the Los Angeles chapter of the anti-war coalition, ANSWER. About 100 men and women made the trip from Las Vegas, feeling they could get more exposure by protesting in Los Angeles.   

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid