Egyptian protests hit hard in Troy

Published 10:30 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It isn’t without some sense of frustration that Fatima Nacep, a Troy University student and native of Egypt, watches as the events in her homeland unfold.

“There are so many confusions, rumors and opinions, and it is making everyone question the future of Egypt,” Nacep said.

According to Nacep, as the violence of the protests become more and more publicized, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain calm and at ease about her home country’s well-being.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Confronted by scenes of bloody chaos in Cairo, the White House on Wednesday challenged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to show the world “exactly who he is” by quickly leading a peaceful transition to democracy. That outcome seemed ever more elusive in the wake of an outbreak of violence among thousands of protestors who have taken to the streets demanding Mubarak’s resignation.

Nacep said the protests have more to do with democracy than anything else and wishes for peaceful resolutions to the ongoing hostility between Mubarak’s supporters and those individuals protesting his removal.

“It’s time for a democratic government and a better quality of life in Egypt, but it won’t happen unless the violence stops,” Nacep said.

Nacep, who moved to the U.S. at the age of 17 with her sister, currently has family living in Egypt.

“My dad, my mom and my brother all live in Egypt, but my Mom and brother traveled to the U.S. the day before the crisis started to happen,” Nacep said.

Nacep says that her father is still in Egypt where much of the protesting is going on.

“What worries me the most is that my Dad is by himself in Egypt, but I was able to talk to him since the phone connections were back on Saturday,” Nacep said. “Now, I check on him every couple of hours by phone.”

Kameela Enilarp, sister of Fatima and former graduate student at Troy University, says that even though all she and her sister can do is to check up on their father by phone daily, she is confident that he will be safe.

Nacep informed that their father taught tennis at a tennis club, where many children of American Embassy personnel would take lessons.

However, everything changed when the violence erupted.

“The kids my Dad coached were crying when they had to leave Egypt, because they had to leave my Dad who had been teaching them for years,” Nacep said.

Enilarp expressed her thoughts about the goings-on in her home country.

“I respect what Mubarak has done for the country, but if the people want him to go, then maybe it is time for him to go,” Enilarp said.

Both Enilarp and Nacep share concerns about Mubarak’s presidency, each saying that his presidency is the only one they have ever known.

Without becoming to politically-minded in speech, they each agreed that perhaps it is time for a change of pace.

“Mubarak has ruled in Egypt for 30 years and many people, including me, have never seen another president in Egypt besides him,” Nacep said. “It is time for a true democratic government, but without violence. It is also time to have clean elections and freedom to vote without cheating.”

Both Enilarp and Nacep respect Mubarak for positive things he has done for their country.

“Mubarak has already responded to the nations needs and he is leaving in months for those who don’t want him. If he leaves, I would like to see him leave with some respect and dignity because, overall, he has been a great leader to our country,” Nacep said.

Enilarp supposes that the people are just getting frustrated and desire to see real change in the region.

“I’m upset for the poor people of Egypt, sometimes when I see people in the streets I see frustration in their eyes. The people are just getting frustrated, because they can’t find jobs and things are getting expensive,” Enilarp said.