Dozens hold protest outside Egyptian consulate

Houston's Egyptian community is showing support for anti-government protesters back home.

January 31, 2011 9:15:24 AM PST
The uprising in Egypt has sparked other protests by Egyptians here in the U.S, including here in Houston. They say it's time for a change in their home country. Many Egyptian Americans here in Houston have family who still live in Egypt and they say they want those relatives to have the same rights and freedoms they have here in the United States.

They shouted their message from the Houston streets Sunday afternoon and say their relatives thousands of miles away should be able to have the same freedom -- to protest in peace.

"We have to live free. We have to be free. Our people are suffering there," said Egyptian-American Rasha Hamoud. "My mother-in-law is seventy years old and she is defending herself by a knife."

The Houston demonstration was just one in cities across the U.S. this weekend supporting a peaceful democratic change in Egypt and opposing the crimes committed against demonstrators in their home country trying to spread that same message.

"We are here today to support our brother and sister in Egypt and to tell Mubarak, please leave. Please leave," said Egyptian-American Mohammed Ismaeel.

U.S. leaders have appealed for an orderly transition to lasting democracy in the country. While some protestors say ordinary people in Egypt don't see any of the $1.5 billion in aid sent to Egypt from the U.S. every year, officials in Washington have indicated there are no discussions at this time to stop it.

"We're coming right now just to support our families, our security and sending a message to U.S. politicians and policymakers in the U.S.," said Egyptian-American Mohammed Ali. "People in Egypt are aspiring for the same chances that people have right here in the United States."

The internet remains blacked out at times, making communication difficult increasing the fear many have for their loved ones in their homeland.

"We have to be free, no Mubarak, no anyone from the first regime. We don't want to be slaves," said Hamoud.

Many of the protestors say efforts to block their plans by cutting off social networking will not work and they will continue to take their message to the streets.

People across America have been holding their own rallies to show solidarity with the protesters in Egypt. Hundreds of people waved Egyptian flags in City Hall Plaza in Dallas they carried signs denouncing Mubarak and calling for democratic reforms in Egypt.

Similar rallies were held in Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta and other major cities this weekend.