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Mubarak Refuses To Step Down, Md. Egyptians React

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It was not what they wanted to hear. Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo expecting to hear their president announce his resignation. Instead, Hosni Mubarak told them he’s not going anywhere yet.

Gigi Barnett has more with local Egyptians who say they’re angry.

They are here in America because they left Egypt for the same reasons people are protesting in Cairo.  Now the local Egyptian community is disconcerted as they learn Mubarak is staying in power.

“It’s been terrible for 30 years,” said Mona Elmetwally, Egyptian American. “People are oppressed.  Nobody can express himself.  And we thought we had a taste of freedom finally, but it’s not happening.”

Up until Thursday afternoon, they thought the revolution was working.

“I started texting my kids and my husband and saying, ‘He’s stepping down.’ And we were so happy,”   Elmetwally said.

But when Mubarak and the vice president started talking, it was clear that victory is still in the distance.

So now that power is going to the VP, will things change?

“He and him are the same,” said  Ashraf Rashwan, owner of Koko Market in Highlandtown.

“You need to change everything,” said Hassan Mahfouz, Egyptian. “We don’t trust these people. ”

Mahfouz didn’t want to show his face on camera. He says he was held in jail for no reason while in Egypt.

“I’m lucky. They held me for three days.  Some people they hold for five, six years,” Mahfouz said.

The worried Middle Eastern community hears from family online and gathers to talk about what may happen next.

“Until they heard that nobody’s going to go nowhere, that’s what I feel,” said Tariq Gelel.

“I think he’s trying to trick the army to do something with the people,” Elmetwally said.

One Iraqi man who lived under Saddam Huessein commiserates.

“I would just like to tell them that they have to be patient. Victory will come.  And this brutal dictator will eventually disappear,” he said.

Stay with WJZ for complete coverage of the crisis in Egypt.

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