UC Professor reacts to Egyptian uprising

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he will step back, but he's not stepping-down.

FOX19 spoke with UC Professor, Hazem Said, who is Egyptian and said Mubarek is disconnected.

Hazem said there has been slim progress in the Egyptian President's last three speeches. Mubarak actually admitted Thursday, for the first time, every administration makes mistakes.

But Hazem said Mubarak never held himself accountable for it.

"No, he has not given-up," Said said. "He is taking steps towards giving-up, which makes a lot of people in the streets hopeful."

The Egyptian people are optimistic, that change like they've never seen, is days away.

"The word Mubarek means, 'the blessed one', so when you get married, we congratulate you and say Mubarak, which means may your marriage be blessed," he said.

But this 30-year affair's been anything but a love-fest. Three decades of oppression and fear, with Mubarak seen as the head of a regime and a failed system.

"They want that system that crippled them, took away their freedom, brought down the economy, increased the debt, they want that regime out," Said said.

About a million people showed-up Thursday to protest peacefully, without any calls to organize.

Said said he called his parents.

"When I talked to them," he said. "They say don't worry about us, we are in a celebration, finally the people rose-up."

To his family back home, this is a great day. His father told him is thankful for what he is witnessing.

"I am grateful that God made me live until I see this day," he said. "He's 70 now."

Said marvels at how the younger generation has organized this revolution.

"When did these people mature to that level," he asked. "How did they learn this level of civility? To stay peaceful, to stay organized, to bring everybody together, that is not easy."

The phrase of the day in Egypt right now, Said repeated twice for us. It means:

"People want the regime to go down."

The Internet has played a huge role in getting the truth out.

"It helped show the reality," he said. "Because people with their phones they take small videos, they put it up so everybody can see what is going on and compare it with what the state TV is telling them."

But even the, slow-to-boil Egyptians, have reached their limit.

"They have a high-degree of tolerance," Said said. "You can pressure them and they will adapt."

He says no world power should be afraid of this transformation.

"This is the real Egyptian people, wanting their dignity and freedom," he said. "The new Egypt that will come, will be a better partner for the whole world, for the U.S. and for others."

The freedom fighting is greatly cutting into the country's biggest cash cow, which is tourism.

"But I believe that, and I hope, that the people will win this struggle," he said proudly.

"There will be a new Egypt and I think everybody would love to go there and see it and meet those heroes who made that outstanding revolution."

Said said he expects some sort of military coup will take place and that Mubarek will be physically removed from his post.

But what they don't want to see out of that, is some sort of military control, which could be even worse than what they've endured for the past thirty years.

They want a civic society and an organized government.

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