Local News

Egyptians in the Triangle react to unrest at home

Posted January 28, 2011 8:45 p.m. EST
Updated January 28, 2011 11:02 p.m. EST

— From their living room in Garner, there isn't much Magdy and Samia Saad can do but watch and hope that things in their home country of Egypt improve.

“We’re stuck to the TV,” Samia Saad said on Friday. 

The Saads have many family members still living in Egypt, where on Friday protesters were running rampant on the streets of Cairo, battling police with stones and firebombs, burning down the ruling party headquarters, and defying a night curfew enforced by a military deployment.

“They were terrified. They said they didn’t leave the house. They are staying home. They can’t leave,” Samia Saad said of her family.

Magdy Saad said no one expected the fury to “mushroom that fast.”

“The people have been suppressed for so long. There is a point where you say, ‘I can’t lose,’” Magdy Saad said.

North Carolina State University student Hussein El Nawawy, who is from Egypt, said it was just a matter of time before reform in the country. He said if he were back home, he would be out demonstrating, as well.

“Maybe it’s a surgery. It’s a painful surgery," he said. "At the very end, surgery is intended to help someone get better."

If there is a change in government, the Saads said it's not clear who would take over. For now though, their focus is on their loved ones.

“We hope it won’t last long because a lot of people are dying,” Samia Saad said.

El Nawawy was able to reach his family on Friday and said they were safe.

El Nawawy said he might attend a planned demonstration on Saturday by the Egyptian embassy in Washington D.C.