Local Egyptian-Americans Celebrate Government Change
Anti-government protesters, and Egyptian soldiers on top of their vehicles, make traditional Muslim Friday prayers at the continuing demonstration in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Image by AP
MILWAUKEE - Wanis Shalaby wanted his students at the Salam School to experience this moment.
He turned on the news so they could see the Egyptian people celebrating.
"I'm indescribably happy about what's happening," Shalaby told Lauren Leamanczyk.
Shalaby is Egyptian and says he has waited for the day his people would overturn a dictator.
"Egypt is not a poor country, but Egyptian people became poor because of the regime that is been oppressing them for awhile," he explained.
Shalaby's family lives near Alexandria, Egypt.
Wisconsin's Washington delegation shares Shalaby's optimism. But, they say the U.S. needs to help make sure democracy is able to take hold.
"The best case scenario is for Egypt to accept assistance from the international community to make sure that governance is normalized until there is an election there," said Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D – Milwaukee).
"Maybe we're starting to see the dividends of having democracy in Iraq," said Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin). "When other people see folks becoming free, it increases their yearning to become free as well. Let's hope this all turns out well."
Many have raised concerns about the possibility of extremists taking control of the Egypt, Shalaby doesn't buy it.
"Absolutely not. Nobody wants war in that area," he said emphatically.
Instead, he believes peace will continue to rule the day.
"This is pure Egyptian grass roots movement that's asking for rights to be treated like human beings."