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January 31, 2011 09:52 PM

Egyptian Native Talks About Protests

Sioux Falls, SD


The protests in Egypt have captured the world's attention, but one Sioux Falls man is following the situation more closely than most.

Egyptian-American Essam Makram was involved in the Facebook and Twitter conversations which helped organize the protests.

"These people are asking for their independence," Makram said. "They are asking for their dignity and they are asking for food. That is all they are asking for."

Makram said the people protesting in the streets want better jobs and more rights, including freedom of speech. These are things he said can only come with a new president.

"I wish I was involved in it because it is part of history," Makram said. "It is part of history and I think we will all be thankful for the people in the streets."

Makram's involvement ended when the protests began. Last Tuesday, Makram lost contact with his family and friends when the Egyptian government halted cell phone service and the Internet.

On Sunday, Makram was finally able reach them over the phone.

"They are living an hour at a time," Makram said. "One hour at a time."

As bad as things are now, Makram expects things to get worse before they get better.
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