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Students ‘party’ for Egyptian revolution

Ayan Sheikh / Lantern reporter

It’s been a year since the start of the Egyptian revolution and Ohio State students gathered at the Oval Wednesday to commemorate the anniversary of the country’s 2011 uprising.

The event “Party like an Egyptian” was meant to support the Egyptian people and was organized by Omar Gowayed, a second-year in mechanical engineering.

“It’s about global solidarity, it’s about standing for what’s right and I figured this was a monumental day that should be celebrated by all activist groups,” Gowayed said.

Gowayed said he contacted several student groups such as the Committee for Justice in Palestine and United Students Against Sweatshops to participate in the event.

A group of about 30 students and Columbus residents gathered and began their march at the Oval. They continued past the Science and Engineering Library, down W. 18th Avenue, Neil Avenue and back to the Oval.

Students were chanting slogans such as “The people united will never be defeated,” in support of the revolution.

Gowayed said he was happy with the direction Egypt is going, and although clashes between civilians and the military has reduced significantly, he said the military rule “should step back to the barracks.”

“We had a relatively free and fair election recently, the most free and fair that Egypt has ever faced in my lifetime at least,” Gowayed said.

Egypt’s vice president, Omar Suleiman, announced the resignation of president Hosni Mubarak, on Feb. 11, 2011.

Upon announcing his resignation, Mubarak handed over the power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Many Egyptians were unhappy with the rule and several protesters took to Tahrir Square and demanded that the military rulers hand over the power to the people.

During Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary election on Jan. 21, 2012, the controversial Muslim Brotherhood won a majority of seats.

Gowayed said although he does not support the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, he does believe they won “fair and square.”

Soha Rashwan, an Egyptian citizen and a Columbus resident, said Egyptians want a better future and as a result, they are not willing to give up the fight for democracy and freedom.

“We didn’t do the revolution to get rid of the old regime to get a worse regime,” Rashwan said. “With what’s going on in Egypt that they’re scaring us of and they’re gonna make us go back to our homes and not do anything.”

Nicholas Pasquarello, fourth-year in psychology and co-president of United Students Against Sweatshops, told The Lantern that students need to know the Egyptian revolution is not over despite Mubarak’s resignation.

“This event is to highlight the fact that it’s ongoing and that they need our support now more than ever,” Pasquarello said, “Everyone kind of thought they had the revolution, but no, they’re not, they’re in the exact same spot.”

Muhammad Mabrouk, a math teacher at Columbus City Schools, said it’s important to show Egyptians that Americans stand in solidarity with them.

“This is the least we can do. We are not close to the Egyptian embassy, so this is the least we can do,” Mabrouk said.

Mabrouk compared Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to having 19 Mubaraks rule Egypt.

“Yea, Mubarak is gone, but we have now in my opinion 19 Mubaraks, they are ruling the country,” Mabrouk said. “All of them are just (like) Mubarak with a different face.”

Maher Elsayed, a second-year in mechanical engineering, said he believes in the formation of a democratic and free Egypt.

“I’m 100 percent sure that Egypt will be free,” Elsayed said. “(And) they have to because the number (of people) in Tahrir today show that they can be at the top.”

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