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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukraine PM Warns Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid