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Utahns with ties to Egypt anxious for news

By Sarah Dallof | Posted - Jan. 28, 2011 at 10:26 p.m.



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(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the midst of a revolution in Egypt, Utahns with ties to the country are glued to their TV sets waiting for news, especially since communication is limited right now.

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A lot of cell phone service has been cut, and social networking sites like Facebook are blocked.

Long-time Utah resident Ibriham Karawan is from Egypt. Friday he surfed TV channels, jumping between news stations -- including several in his native Arabic -- to get the latest on the situation in Egypt. His daughter and several other relatives are in Cairo.

"They called to let me know they are going to the demonstration and I'm proud they're able to take that position," he said.


Egypt will not return to the country that existed before today's date. This is one of those experiences that becomes formative. They remember that like in America the day in which Kennedy was shot, for instance." -Ibriham Karawan

Besides being from Egypt, Karawan brings an additional perspective to the unrest in his home country. He was a political science professor at the University of Utah in addition to being director of the Middle East Center.

Ibriham Karawan
Ibriham Karawan

"Egypt will not return to the country that existed before today's date. This is one of those experiences that becomes formative. They remember that like in America the day in which Kennedy was shot, for instance," he said.

Karawan cites unemployment and lack of representation as some of the reasons for the protests. He says this did not happen overnight but has been building for years.

He doesn't believe President Mubarak's request of the government to resign will quell protesters. But he says Mubarak is a stubborn leader and won't step down until there are no other options.

"Mubarak will try to mobilize all his resources and the media resources at his disposal to convince people that the change in government is massive and important change. I don't think he'll succeed in that effort."

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

Sarah Dallof

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