Egyptian Americans have been in the forefront of calling for democracy in Egypt. They organized to pressure the Obama administration to support the Egyptian revolution. Now they are contributing generously to fundraising designed to help poor Egyptians, offering their professional expertise, and getting ready to be part of the democratic process in Egypt.
As the revolution started in Egypt, crowds of Egyptian Americans took to the streets to support the January Egyptian revolution thousands of miles away. And in Washington D.C., Egyptian Americans were very active urging the White House to support the Egyptian peoples’ aspirations for democracy. Now their energy is focused on how to assist post-revolution Egypt. Egyptian movie star Hanan Turk joined Egyptian American communities across the United States with a message to lend a helping hand to Egypt.
She said, “I’m calling on every one to help rebuild Egypt. We need every Egyptian today, whether a physician or an engineer or a businessman, to be generous with giving back expertise gained in the United States and with financial contribution.”
According to the United Nations Development Program about 11 million Egyptians cannot meet their daily food needs and 44 percent live on less than $2 per day. Mustafa Hosny is a prominent TV personality in Egypt with a track record of influencing young Egyptians. He came to the United States to help in a fund raising for poor Egyptians.
"My role is encouraging people to be very generous, to give all they can; not only money but I encourage everyone to give his thoughts, his ideas and his knowledge to rebuild Egypt," said Hosny.
The fundraising in several U.S. cities collected more than $1.2 million that will fund living expenses for poor families in Egypt. Some other Egyptian Americans are looking forward to going back to Egypt to help with expertise.
“Before the revolution we did not have any hope that we can change anything but after what we saw what happened we thought we can change everything around us, we felt we need to support them and I wish I can go back to Egypt and change things with my hands if I can,” said Farag.
Egyptian ambassador in Washington, Sameh Shoukry, says the outpouring of Egyptian Americans to help their brothers and sisters in Egypt reflects their faith in a better future for Egypt.
"American Egyptians, like all Egyptians all over the world, demonstrated a great deal of solidarity, receptivity, willingness to be more active in supporting the objectives of the revolution and participating in the future of Egypt," he said.
Young Egyptian Americans who were actively organizing demonstrations in the front of the White House are now joining hands to help post-revolution Egypt in so many ways, as Hosam Mansour says.
"One of the big duties of Egyptians abroad; approximately 8 million, is to financially support Egypt in this current economic difficulty. Second [duty] is we have to be part of the democratic process. We have to be able to vote in all upcoming elections," said Mansour.
Egyptian Americans say they feel the ownership of Egypt after the revolution that ended 30 years of dictatorship. Now they are organizing to participate in the upcoming Egyptian elections for the first time ever.