MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For 18 long days, Ahmed El Shourbagy’s laptop has been the only link to the land he loves. It’s where his family doesn’t seem so far away. The 24-year-old northeast Minneapolis man moved to the Twin Cities from Egypt when he was nine, but his mother, father and sister recently moved back to Cairo.
He remembers two weeks ago, when the country briefly went dark, with no internet or phone service. He worried with no word from his mother or sister.
“I found myself pulled to Facebook as my news source because it just happened lightning fast,” he said.
He also turned to watch the Al Jazeera network online every day, and says the only way to chase his fears was to believe President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation was a matter of when.
He learned of the news after a text from his sister and an ecstatic call from his mother.
“I was near tears definitely a few times today,” said El Shourbagy.
El Shourbagy’s family protested in Tahrir Square, now they’ve called him as they celebrate from the streets, what he calls a revolt of solidarity. He wishes he was there.
“Imagine how crazy excited people get when their hometown wins the Super Bowl, imagine when you get your country back,” said El Shourbagy. “I was watching a report and an 80 year old man says, today is the day I was born. So, it’s amazing.”
He says it doesn’t matter if it’s Minnesota or the Middle East, this is an uprising that is uniting class and culture.
“This is a revolution about people like you and I who want their basic human rights and liberties. These people just want their country back. They want democracy — what you and I want.”
El Shourbagy still turns to Facebook, posting his pride online, where the revolution all began. He says Egyptians are now looking to their future, calling for fair and free elections.
“I’ve never been more proud to be an Egyptian,” he said.