Presidential overthrow ends dictatorship, cause for celebration

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Most informed students probably realize turmoil has been plaguing the governments of middle eastern countries such as Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and even Jordan. One of the most significant changes taking place recently is the overthrow of the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, who presided over the country for 30 years. Egyptian students gathered in the K-State Student Union Courtyard Monday in an effort to commemorate the historic event with the public.

Wesam Elshamy, president of the Egyptian Student Association and Ph.D. student in computer science, said the group tried to plan the event earlier in the month, but this was the soonest they could reserve the courtyard.

“After the president was overthrown, all of us got together to celebrate the end of 30 years of dictatorship, so we decided to show the K-State community we’re happy with events, and we want to show our joy,” Elshamy said.

Several professors and a student got on stage and reflected on the change in government.

Evraam Gorgy, Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, praised the courage of the protestors who rallied against the authoritarian government.

“They are brave because they took the soft revolution and turned it into reality on the streets of Cairo,” Gorgy said. “Indeed it was proven that peace was stronger.”

The group played a video of President Barack Obama speaking on the Egyptian revolution and praising the peaceful nature of the protestors.

Gorgy also emphasized the role learning played in making the populace dissatisfied with their situation.

“They used another powerful weapon of education; people are no longer frightened to speak out or afraid of change,” Gorgy said. “Knowledge is freedom.”

Facebook and Twitter played a large role in the revolution, and the protestors used the social networking sites to organize protests.

Josh Lewis, senior in civil engineering, said he enjoyed getting to hear the people talk about their country.

“I thought it was good, it was really informative,” Lewis said. “It was good to get a perspective from Egyptians who are here, and Professor Hani (Melhem) is a professor of mine, so it was good to hear from him, and I’ve been following it on the Internet.”

Melhem, professor in civil engineering, asked the audience to become more knowledgeable about other countries during his part of the lecture, and he stressed the interdependence of all the countries in the world.

“In today’s environment, what happens there happens here, therefore we need to be open to other cultures and respect other beliefs,” Melhem said. “I urge you, learn about international events and listen to commentators about the world.”

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