Egyptian native happy Mubarak stepped down

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Feb. 11, 2011 at 7:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.

Osama Hassan

Osama Hassan

A smile never left the face of Osama Hassan, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Victoria.

News of the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepping down early Friday put a rest to the 18 days of around-the-clock protests and demonstrations for the president's resignation and the 36-year-old's worry for his family.

The resignation announcement was the "dream" of his people back home, he said.

"There's a smile on everybody's face," said Hassan, who has kept a close eye on the unrestful political situation in Egypt since it first exploded in late January. "No one ever thought this would happen in Egypt one day. Not even 30 years from now."

Hassan has kept in contact with his family every day since phone and Internet service came back in Egypt several days ago, he said.

Hassan's three brothers and mother and father are all safe. One brother lives with his mother and father in Tanta, in between Cairo and Alexandria. The other two brothers live in Cairo.

Hassan has lived in America since 2001 and lived 20 years under Mubarak. The call for change from his people grew stronger after he left to teach the Muslim faith in America, he said.

Hassan did not specifically define himself as a Mubarak supporter or oppositionist, but he is happy the president listened to his people - a final wish that made millions of Egyptians happy.

"This is not going to dishonor him, it's going to honor him because he saved Egypt from a huge disaster," he said.

Hassan said the protestors would have clashed with the military soon had Mubarak not stepped down.

Hassan's wife, Sabrina Vasquez, celebrated alongside her husband.

The two met when Vasquez lived in Corpus Christi and they have been married four and a half years.

Though Vasquez is an American who practices the Muslim faith, she is happy the people of Egypt have spoken their mind and received an answer.

"My feelings are with the people of Egypt," she said smiling.

There is still work to be done now that Mubarak is out. Now Egypt has to start fresh, new and right, Hassan said.

Hassan hopes the new leader will be just and fair to redevelop Egypt, he said.

"I'm just hoping that since he gave the army to handle the country now, I hope they will be wise enough to control it until they have early election," Hassan said. "Egypt is the heart of the Arab country."



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