Egyptian students talk about protests

first_imgWhen photos of the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square hit the media, America was introduced to a muddled collection of images — an endless sea of people, spurts of fire and the foreign scribble of Arabic writing. Initially, it wasn’t clear what was going on, especially as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime tried to tighten its grip on what the rest of the world saw, temporarily shutting down the Internet and discouraging journalists from doing their jobs.Reflection · Hassan Ghozlan, a graduate student studying engineering, looks through photos and news clips from his war-torn country, Egypt. – Stephanie Guo | Daily Trojan But to engineering Ph.D. student Hassan Ghozlan, an Egyptian citizen who came to the United States for the first time in Fall 2009 to attend the Viterbi School of Engineering, the pictures were personal. They showed the square just across the Nile from his home, the place where a month ago he bought novels from a bookstore in the square.And for freshman Richard Sidhom, whose family left Egypt and came to the United States when he was nine years old, the protesters in the streets of Alexandria, Sidhom’s birthplace, were cousins, distant relatives and friends that he had left behind.The protests, which have been going on since Jan. 25, represent to Ghozlan and Sidhom a power struggle between Mubarak’s regime and the masses of average Egyptians who have been suffering for too long under Mubarak’s rule.“It was not religious, it was not an Islamic uprising,” Ghozlan said. “It’s just people: engineers, university professors, doctors, average people. It was the youth, and that’s why it has hope to be successful.”Both Ghozlan and Sidhom were raised under Mubarak’s rule and taught from a young age to refrain from speaking out in order to protect themselves — never to get into a fight or walk into a protest or hold a sign. Ghozlan compares Mubarak’s 30-year rule to that of Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984.It was always never do this, never do that, especially for Sidhom, who is a Coptic Catholic, a minority in Egypt.But according to Ghozlan, the current protests transcend religious differences. To him they represent good, middle-class Egyptians standing up against a certain evil that has overstayed his welcome as their ruler.“[Religion] is the card the [Mubarak] regime plays to the West — it’s either me, or the Muslim Brotherhood and the extremists,” Ghozlan said. “And people buy that.”This isn’t the only issue Ghozlan feels Mubarak has swept under the rug. He believes that, over the last 10 or 15 years in particular, the regime has been a sham, featuring acts of deceit, corruption and oppression.Videos have been leaked of Egyptian Parliament members being told how to vote and not being able to do otherwise. A Mubarak opponent trying to run for the presidency was sentenced to prison on counts of forgery. A ferry boat unfit for use sank in the waters of the Red Sea, drowning more than 1,300 Egyptians. These and thousands of other acts have seemed to go unpunished — until now.“You don’t see what’s going under the carpet,” Ghozlan said. “People are boiling, people are mistreated, the regime is oppressive.”This dynamic can be seen in the photos recently released. In one, an anti-Mubarak protester sits in the square holding a sign written in Arabic that translates to “Come on Hosni! I need to go home to grade the exams,” while in another, members of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party barge through the crowds on horse and camelback, a sight Ghozlan hadn’t seen in the square in the 25 years he lived in Cairo.It is acts like these that lead Ghozlan to believe Mubarak cannot be trusted. Whether right now or in eight months, when the national elections are planned to take place. Ghozlan supports an immediate transfer of power, though he doesn’t think Mubarak needs to be exiled from Egypt for this to be successful.Sidhom, on the other hand, is not quite as convinced. As a Coptic, he is somewhat wary of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over, and believes that if this occurs, it could cause problems for Egyptian Coptics. The worst-case scenario would be a Coptic diaspora from Egypt, according to Sidhom. But above all, he wants what is best for Egypt as a whole.“What I’ve been noticing is on one hand, you have some people who are taking advantage of the chaos to act out these anti-Coptic feelings,” Sidhom said. “But on the other hand you have a lot of people who right now are saying, ‘We’re not Coptics and Muslims; we’re all Egyptians.’”This nationalistic mentality can be seen both in the heart of Tahrir Square and thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, where Ghozlan and Sidhom can openly voice their opinions about Mubarak and what they see fit for the future of Egypt.“It’s when one looks at the world and sees democracy and sees how things are run in democratic countries that he realizes how cruel it is to live in such a society,” Ghozlan said.For more stories on the crisis in Egypt, click here.last_img read more

Report: Bruce Bowen out as Clippers TV analyst after Kawhi Leonard criticism

first_imgFox Sports West reportedly declined to renew the contract of Clippers television analyst Bruce Bowen after he made comments critical of Kawhi Leonard in June, ESPN first reported Monday.Bowen was under contract with Fox Sports West, but the Clippers – like every major pro sports team – have significant input into the hiring of television broadcast talents and withheld approval on extending his contract, the report said.Bowen, a Cal State Fullerton product, served as a color commentator for Clippers broadcasts alongside play-by-play man Ralph Lawler during the 2017-18 season, replacing longtime analyst Michael Smith.On June 21, Bowen made an appearance on Sirius XM Radio and was critical of how Leonard handled his departure from San Antonio: Assuming Leonard, who was limited to nine games in 2017-18, plays a full season for the Raptors and re-establishes himself as one of the game’s best all-around players, he’ll be arguably the most sought-after player in a loaded free-agent class that is expected to include Klay Thompson (unrestricted), Kevin Durant (player option), Kyrie Irving (player option) and Jimmy Butler (player option) next summer. It is widely expected Leonard will decline his $21.3 million player option for 2019-20, and the Southern California native apparently prefers to play for one of the L.A. teams.The Clippers are projected to have nearly $40 million in salary cap space next summer and could clear enough additional space to offer a max-level contract to both Leonard and another elite free agent. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Bowen’s comments might have drawn additional attention, too, since he was a former Spurs player who won three titles under longtime coach Gregg Popovich. Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan in July after a falling out in which the Spurs and Leonard disagreed on how to handle his quadriceps issues.Leonard sought outside medical advice during the season and spent significant time away from the Spurs while training at the National Basketball Players Association facilities in New York. He was not with the Spurs during their first-round playoff loss to Golden State. “I think there’s nothing but excuses going on. First, it was, ‘Well I was misdiagnosed.’ Look here: You got $18 million this year, and you think that they’re trying to rush you? You didn’t play for the most part a full season this year. And you’re the go-to guy, you’re the franchise, and you want to say that they didn’t have your best interest at heart? Are you kidding me?Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.“I think he’s getting bad advice. I think what you’re starting to see now is an individual given a certain amount of advice, and it’s not the right advice. Here it is: You were protected in San Antonio. You were able to come up during a time where you still could lean on Tim (Duncan), Tony (Parker) and Manu (Ginobili).”The Clippers – along with the Lakers – are believed to be one of the front-runners to land Leonard during free agency next summer and the Bowen decision is perceived as one that sends a clear message about how the organization plans to protect star players.Related Articles What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates last_img read more