By Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Egyptian nationals living in Northeast Mississippi greeted Friday’s announcement of President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation with joy and relief.
“I had hoped he would have a more dignified end to his administration, but this was long overdue and he had plenty of opportunities to implement reforms and to serve the people justly,” said Dr. Islam Hassan El-adaway, a native of Cairo and an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Mississippi State University.
The announcement of Mubarak’s resignation came during Islamic evening prayers in Egypt on Friday and was greeted with shouts of joy among the thousands who since Jan. 25 had been protesting in the streets, demanding far-reaching governmental reform.
Political corruption and the suppression of free speech and free elections were some of the causes that drove protesters to mount the largest uprising in the country since 1977.
El-adaway said Mubarak was well- respected as a military veteran, even among his many critics, but during the president’s nearly 30 years in power he became corrupt, and that led to his ouster.
“I never voted in my home country because I knew it was pointless,” said 30-year-old El-adaway.
Mina Gorgyos of Tupelo communicated online with his family in Port Said, Egypt, immediately after the announcement Mubarak had stepped down.
“There was a lot of happiness and hope,” said 29-year-old Gorgyos, who manages a gas station on West Main Street.
As a Coptic Christian, Gorgyos said he understands many American’s anxiety about what will happen in the wake of Mubarak’s departure.
On Friday the president handed over authority to a council of military leaders who’ve promised to implement constitutional reforms.
“I do not believe the Egyptian people or the United States will allow anyone to come to power who threatens Israel,” said Gorgyos, adding he’s just happy to see an end to the corruption and neglect that have crippled his homeland for so long.
Contact Galen Holley at (662) 678-1510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.