Local Egyptians closely follow uprising events

January 31, 2011 6:18:59 PM PST
In the Bay Area, Egyptians are following the events back home on television, the Internet and by phone. ABC7 spoke with a couple of San Francisco State students who are relieved to be hearing from their families.

Nour Ahmadein and Jeremiah Davis were both on their cell phones to Egypt on Monday afternoon. Both students share an apartment in San Francisco and both have families in the same district in Cairo.

Ahmadein spoke with his father on Monday and it was midnight in Cairo. His father was outside, as he has been every night this week, patrolling the streets with the rest of the men from his neighborhood. He told his son it's quiet now, much quieter than Friday night.

"The whole country, people are safe right now. It's been going through ups and downs, but the whole country, people are relatively safe right now," says Ahmadein.

Both Ahmadein and Davis believe the looters were prisoners released from jail by Murbarak's government in an effort to create the impression that the protests were being carried out by thugs more intent on looting than on bringing down the regime.

"This is a government tactic, we've seen this before, we've seen this with the Muslim Brotherhood from the days of Nasser and El Sadat, we've seen this exact same thing happen where they release people out onto the streets to make it look like from an outsider's perspective that the civilians look like they're clashing together," says Ahmadein.

Davis says me his biggest fear is for his family's safety.

"Some of my family, they can't get a hold of food because stores are shutting down and this is creating quite a chaotic thing. Businesses have stopped. Our families are literally losing their jobs and they're losing their lively hoods right now, but we'll see," says Davis.

Karen Mancuso of San Francisco is also in Cairo on Monday night, staying at the Fairmont in Nile City.

"The windows at the hotel have all been shot out and many of them broken. Next door there used to be a dance club which was part of the hotel structure, it's was all completely destroyed," says Mancuso.

Mancuso landed in Cairo Friday night and says it has quieted down considerably in the past 48 hours. But for Tuesday organizers are calling for a million protestors to take to the streets.