….When I go to Egypt if I see something wrong people said, don’t talk because the wall have ear. That mean if you talk somebody can hear you through the wall, make a phone call, you go to jail. The wall have ear to hear. Let’s say to Egypt and the world have eyes to see. The world have eyes to see no justice. So forget about the wall have ear. The world have eyes to see no justice. Bring justice to Egypt and liberty and democracy and freedom. And that’s the answer….
This afternoon in Kansas City at the J.C. Nichols fountain in the park at 47th and Main near the entrance to the Plaza the Muslim American Society held a protest in solidarity with the Egyptian people:
…Muslim American Society lends its support for the hundreds of thousands of Egyptian pro-democracy activists who courageously continue to defy the government’s ban on demonstrations. Inspired by the brave revolt of the Tunisian people, Egyptians have taken to the streets hoping to put an end to dictatorship, state violence, corruption and poverty. The coordinated wave of anti-government action is the result of a government which has refused to heed the demands of it people, has continued to ignore the misery of its poor, and has persistently denied the elementary rights of humanity. The people of Egypt are calling for freedom and an end to the corrupt administration of Hosni Mubarak….
The picket line along the north side of 47th Street between Broadway and Main in Kansas City.
Approximately seventy-five to a hundred people attended the first scheduled hour of the protest. I spoke with Wahed Moharam:
Show Me Progress: …What are you out here today for?
Wahed Moharam: I born in Egypt, nineteen fifty-four. I serve in the Egyptian army and I serve in nineteen seventy-three war. I come to the United States because was no freedom in Egypt. I born under dictator, his name is [Gamal Abdel] Nasser. When Nasser die another dictator come, his name is [Anwar El] Sadat. When Sadat die another dictator come same [Hosni] Mubarak. I’m here, to United States since nineteen seventy-eight. When I come Jimmy Carter was president. Four years later Jimmy Carter left and Ronald Reagan come for eight year, but Mubarak still stay. After Reagan we see Bush for one term, Clinton for two term, another Bush for one term, now Obama… And Hosni Mubarak still in power.
If we really, if we really sincerely need to get rid of al-Qaeda, before we get rid of al-Qaeda if we get rid of the dictator his people will get rid of al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda base in people who originally have no hope. That’s how people went to al-Qaeda. I was a mujahideen. I fought in Afghanistan against Russia. I was in the White House when Ronald Reagan hold the Egyptian and the mujahideen, he said, I salute the mujahideen. If you give a chance for freedom and call United Nations and stop all the dictator in all middle east you will change the world. And you don’t have to fight al-Qaeda. They will fight al-Qaida. Al-Qaida, people who have no hope. Who’s under the pressure, have no hope, have no life. So Osama bin Laden will drag these people, say, I give you money for your family, die for that. That’s why they die. But, if United State bring a freedom, true freedom, true election, under division of United Nation, there be wake up to all the Arab world, no more dictator. The world will change…
…Barack Obama name will be known forever because he give nothing but hope to all the middle east. When he take the trip to Egypt and went to the college I left here to go to Egypt listen to him because I was so happy so a, the different and the change. If the different change in United State where fifty year ago black was not allowed to be in restaurant, we can change the middle east to make no more dictator. If Barrack Obama and our government is set to give billion of dollar to Egypt and we don’t benefit nothing. Instead to give it to them, if we treat Egypt just by word, said no more aids unless you change I can promise you all middle east will change. Egypt will be the first key. Egypt will be the ignition key. The rest of the world said we want our freedom.
Why you think I’m here for thirty three year, left my mother, my sister, my niece, my nephew? Because I’m seeking freedom. And if we give freedom to Egypt all the people who left Egypt for desire better life they can help their country.
We might don’t have to give them dime anymore because all the people who left Egypt come over here for thirty year, twenty year, learn from the technology, learn from the education, learn from that, they will go back to their country and will give what they learned from here. It will be blessing for America. It will be blessing for Obama. And will be the best weapon, will be one sword with two edge, one to cut the dictator and the other one to terminate al-Qaeda forever. If he bring freedom I promise you will be no more al-Qaeda, ’cause al-Qaeda base in the people who’s not happy with their country. Osama bin Laden, when he base al-Qaeda, he said, I am from Saudi, Saudi’s not fair, dictator, who will with me. The Egyptian who feel oppression went with him, the Jordanian, the Iranian, the Yemeni, all that, went to al-Qaeda because they don’t have freedom. They don’t have liberty. And the animosity against United State for one reason only, ’cause United State continue to give dictator two million [sic] dollar because he’s a friend. We don’t want a fake friend. We want a real friend.
If United State for justice, peace and justice for all has fit to give Egypt and Israel and Jordan and Yemen million and million of dollar we work hard over here for our taxes, for this money and the money go to the pocket of the dictator we don’t do any good for anyone. We don’t do no good for middle east, we don’t do good for our America, we don’t good for, we don’t do any good for hope or future. The hope and the future is democracy. And the only way of democracy, if United State put their foot down. Our president call United Nation tomorrow and say condemn this and let the people leave. And United Nation took all the award where the member United Nation, any country, have dictator can not be member of the United Nation, we cannot help him, I bet you, the world will be change. United State will be the name of the leader, leader base on fair.
Show Me Progress: …Up until about two week ago did you think things would change in Egypt?
Wahed Moharam speaking to a reporter for KCTV.
Wahed Moharam: I been hoping for a change all my life. When I see this I was, I was revival. I grabbed my children, my grandchildren and my grandchildren didn’t know why I’m laugh, why I’m happy. My grandson, my older one, is ten years old, he ask his mom, why my grandpa jumping all the time like that. She tell him, because he want freedom. He said, we have freedom. Said, no, he want freedom where he born. I am proud to be American citizen, but I never left my Egyptian citizen. I have dual citizenship, ’cause hoping one day I see Egypt have the freedom, have the right to speak, have a human right respect, journalist respect. Where is that? It’s gone. And how could we close our eyes and our ear and pretend we like we don’t know. We know everything. Just we need to put our foot down and say no more the dictator. [wind noise] That will make better worl
d. We will make the whole world better. We will show the whole world what leader is. Leader stand for the rights. United State the leader of the world. Stand for the right as the leader. Say no more to dictator. No more.
Egypt eighty million people. I went to Egypt to visit my family two year ago and the last time when Obama was there. Egypt have more Mercedes than Germany. And have twenty percent below poverty survive on less than hundred dollar a day [sic]. They have family of seven people, I ask ’em, how you survive? He said, I’m survive by the grace of God. I said, but how you eat? And I ask him, how many time you eat meat? He said, once a year. People don’t eat for him, when they sacrifice the holiday of, the Egyptian holiday, and kill lamb, to sacrifice for that. How, where is the justice? To give two billion dollar to president like this and have his people stay in line, line half a mile to buy a bread, and the bread have nothing but sand inside for the poor people. And the rich people buy the same bread to feed their dog and their cat and animal. Where is the justice? Can we, can we said yes to the good thing and no to the wrong thing? Our president give everybody hope, get everyone in United State to go out for him because he called for change and make it better.
Let him, he went to Egypt and tell the college people change, make better, stand by your word Mister Obama. Stand by your word. Let the word be not just the [wind noise][inaudible] with action. Do action. Call Egypt, say no more aids, we don’t want to be friend to dictator. Dictator make us look bad. Dictator make the whole world laugh at us. Said, this is United State which said justice to all, look, they gave money to dictator like…like Mubarak, another dictator like Yemen, dictator like Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco. Egypt the key. If we give freedom to Egypt all the other Arab or the small country will revive for freedom. Where United State be, in the top. They will worship this country. We have the best land, the best freedom in the world. Why we don’t tell these people copy from us? If we go to Egypt, said, come and visit. Visit United State, see the street clean, see the people, the nice and children, just like this. We’ll make better life. If we make better life for them we don’t have to give aids no more because there will be education, it will be manufacturing, it will be thing, we don’t have to give a dime. But we give them the money and said, now you do what I told you to do. It doesn’t help. Because we give the dictator, and the dictator say, I gotta do what you do because he pocket the money in Swiss bank. And that. What we do? That this, what we do? Honestly, what we do? The right thing to do, to Mister Obama, the right thing to do to our best president in my eye, continue, just as you said, yes, we can change. Just as you said, no to dictator, no to that. Have your voice to the eighty million in Egypt. Have your voice with the middle east, whole middle east.
[pointing to picket line] Those people are not Egyptian. Jordanian over here, Morocco over here, Palestinian over here. The guy who put the flag over here is Palestinian. We all wants for freedom. We all seeking justice. We all seeking freedom and justice, human right.
When I go to Egypt if I see something wrong people said, don’t talk because the wall have ear. That mean if you talk somebody can hear you through the wall, make a phone call, you go to jail. The wall have ear to hear. Let’s say to Egypt and the world have eyes to see. The world have eyes to see no justice. So forget about the wall have ear. The world have eyes to see no justice. Bring justice to Egypt and liberty and democracy and freedom. And that’s the answer.
And I promise you, there will be no more al-Qaeda. Because if the country have freedom to elect the right one, do you think they gotta have the bad one to kill anymore? Absolutely not. Do be the weapon to United State to get rid of him and all the other leader in the entire middle east. Tell me one country, middle east, women have no right in Saudi Arabia, no right to drive. Kuwait the same thing. But because of the oil, because of the money. You know what? We can create energy from the sun, from the green. We can survive without one gallon of oil from any Arab country. Tell him, have your oil, drink it. What they gotta do? Then they gotta survive by drinking the oil. But they gotta survive [inaudible] freedom. Freedom the answer. And freedom won’t come from them. It will come from us because we have a power. This is United State of America, the land of the freedom. When we praise America, say the land of the freedom, let’s give freedom to the rest of the land of the earth. And we will, we can see without worry about who attacking us. How many million dollar United State spend every year for the terrorists? Billion. Why? Because they everywhere we don’t know him. If we bring democracy and freedom to those country it will be gone. It will be gone.
A reporter from KSHB conducts an interview.
Others and businesses on the Plaza had different priorities today.