Locals Gather In Support Of Egytian Protests

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Friday, Jan 28, 2011  |  Updated 8:30 PM EDT
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Rally in Astoria.

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Of the estimated 18,000 people of Egyptian ancestry in New York, a good chunk of them call Astoria, Queens home.  The cafes and shops along Steinway street have become gathering spots for information and commiseration.  

Locals have been relying on Arabic news channels to see what is happening in their country. Mohammad Saad finally spoke to his children in Alexandria today.  

"I'm very very worried," said Saad. "This is a big problem for Egypt. I don't believe it's happening."

A group of about hundred gathered on Steinway Street, chanting "Mubarek's gotta go!"  They stood in support of the uprising that is taking their homeland by storm.

"I think we should have uprising long time ago," said Mona Omran of Scarsdale, New York.  "This regime has insulted its own people over 33 years. It's enough."

Mona said she left Egypt ten years ago to flee President Hosni Mubarek's autocratic rule. Like many fellow Egyptians now in America, she hopes the uprising which is escalating by the hour, forces Mubarak's hand.  

"We don't support the violence," said Kalil Saleh of Astoria, Queens.  "But Mubarek doesn't want to leave!"

Amid the looting, the torching, and the violence, it's been tough getting in touch with family.

"Text messages are prevented," said Ahmed Jamil of Astoria, Queens.  "The Internet is prevented, even the news."

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