Families worried about loved ones in Egypt

Dr. Moe El-Gamal

January 28, 2011 7:44:50 PM PST
Local families were desperately trying to reach their loved ones in Egypt on Friday, as chaotic protests have taken to the streets in that country.

A Raleigh man who was born in Egypt, Dr. Moe El-Gamal, has been worried about his 23-year old son, who has been on vacation in Cairo.

“My concern is if he’s going to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Dr. El-Gamal.

He says he has not heard from his son in two days, despite repeated efforts to contact him online or by cell phone.

“All those communications are shut down,” El-Gamal said, “You cannot call anybody on the cell phone or have SMS or even internet today.”

The images of civil unrest on television are difficult for El-Gamal to see, but they are also very telling about the situation in his home country.

“Once it comes to this, in my opinion, one thing really has to be done. You really have to listen to the people,” he said. “They are really asking for basic freedom and democracy. They would just like to feed their own family.”

El-Gamal said he visited Egypt last year and he could feel change was on the way, just by talking to other Egyptians.

He says he is encouraged by President Obama’s decision to step up the pressure. He also sees Egyptian President Mubarak’s announcement that he will be sacking his government as a good move, but not nearly enough to get protestors off of the streets.

El-Gamal and many people all over the world will continue to watch the situation closely.

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