NEWARK, New Jersey, U.S.A. – People around the world have been watching in horror as hundreds of protestors clashed with Egyptian police in an uprising that began January 25.
More than a week later, protesters are still holding huge rallies in cities and they have no intention of stopping until President Hosni Mubarak leaves.
Marina Youssef, a 19-year-old Rutgers University student from Alexandria, Egypt, has been cut off from her family in Egypt since the uprising.
“I haven’t been able to communicate with my family,” she said. “No cell phone service. Networks are down. House lines are working, but due to the heavy calls in and out the country, it’s difficult trying to reach anyone.”
Youssef has been following the protests on television from Kearny, New Jersey, where she’s now living.
The Egyptian revolution, she said, started “in the right track.”
Demonstrations in Tunisia have had a huge influence on Egyptians, she said.
“When Egyptians saw that another country revolted against the authoritarian rule, they were hoping to do the same.”
It was “due to decades of frustration” that people began the protests, Youssef said.
“Mubarak has been the president for 30 years. Enough is enough,” she said. “It is up to the people to lead Egypt into the New Year.”
Marina wants a brighter future for her country and her people.
“If a better candidate steps up to be the president, Egypt might have a better future,” Marina said. “I have hope.”
Gokce Yurekli is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.