Rain fell on Sunday, January 30, but for the second consecutive day, Egyptian-Americans in Los Angeles gathered to show support for Egyptians in Egypt, echoing calls there for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
For the past six days, Egyptians in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other Egyptian cities have protested against the current Egyptian government. Thousands have marched in the streets and used social networking tools to organize demonstrations in the name of social, political and economic reforms, breaking a state-imposed curfew and often clashing violently with Egyptian police, inspired by events in Tunisia, where protestors successfully ousted the former president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
“The whole world is worried about the Muslim extremists taking over, that’s not going to happen,” said Aziz Elattar, an Egyptian-American engineer who attended Sunday’s rally. “The Egyptians don’t want that.”
The demonstration in Los Angeles took place outside the Egyptian consulate’s local office, at Wilshire Boulevard at Highland Avenue, and approximately 200 and 300 came, estimated Suliman Suliman, president of the Society of Egyptian Americans, one of the groups that organized the demonstration. A Los Angeles Police Department official estimated a turnout of approximately 100. At the height of the rally, after the rain stopped around 1:30 p.m., the organizer’s estimate appeared more accurate. The crowds began forming around 12:30 p.m.
“I am an Egyptian and now I can say I am proud to be Egyptian,” said Amal Omar, an Egyptian-American mother who also participated in the demonstration on Sunday. She also expressed her hope that Mubarak resigns.
Like the rally in Los Angeles on Saturday—which took place outside the Federal Building in Westwood—demonstrators at the Egyptian consulate waved Egyptian flags and held signs that showed their solidarity with the Egyptian revolt, such as “Free Egypt, Free the Protestors”,” and chanted, in English and Arabic, anti-Mubarak messages. Many repeatedly shouted in unison, “Hey Obama, you will see; Mubarak will fall like Ben Ali.”
Watch an interview with Elattar below.
Watch footage of the rally below.