By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It has been a weekend of unrest and uncertainty in Egypt. The country’s military removed President Mohammed Morsi from office days ago but what happens next remains to be seen.

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People both for and against the President’s removal packed the streets of Cairo again Sunday. The week-long clashes have killed 36 people and injured more than a thousand.

A Minnesota author is watching what happens in Egypt closely. John L. Betcher wrote a book about the turmoil before a lot of it even happened.

The basis for the book started with a Facebook friendship.

Betcher’s interest in the North African country began months before the revolution. An Egyptian woman wrote to Betcher on Facebook with a comment about his last book. He didn’t know then the connection and the chaos in her home country, would provide Betcher the background for his next book.

“It is my nature when I get involved with something to get all the way involved,” Betcher said.

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“The Exiled Element” is his latest in a series of suspense thrillers, all set in Minnesota and other locations across the globe. Even though it came out last year, the book begins with essentially what’s happening in Egypt today: the military taking control after the first democratically-elected president is assassinated.

In real life, Mohammed Morsi is still alive but the similarities are certainly there.

“Just like in 2011 when they all referred to it as Jan. 25, they’re calling this June 30,” Betcher said.

Betcher has become online friends with several people living in Egypt who helped him make his book as realistic as possible. He counts himself among many hoping for brighter days ahead for this country.

“From the outside if you look at demonstrations from both sides and the fact that there was an elected president one has to wonder what the will of the people is,” Betcher said.

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For more about Betcher’s book, click here.

Liz Collin