Egyptian-Americans Take to D.C. Streets

Another protest planned for Saturday

Egyptian-Americans sympathetic to protesters in Cairo took to the streets of Washington Friday and Saturday in solidarity with those seeking an end to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decades-long rule.

Protesters filled the street in front of the Egyptian embassy in Washington Saturday afternoon, demanding that Mubarak step down, the Associated Press reported.

The demonstrators on Saturday also criticized the President Barack Obama administration's response to the clashes in Egypt, where thousands of protesters have thrown the country's 30-year-old regime into tumult.

Those in Washington waved Egyptian flags and held signs that read "Obama: Democracy or Hypocrisy?" and "Victory to the Egyptian People!"

Tamim Barghouti, a 32-year-old professor, said he was angered by Mubarak's choice for a vice president Saturday, the first vice president in Mubarak's reign. Barghouti said the new vice president would simply be another puppet of America.

"We have been working for that for the last 20 years, and for that I went to prison three times," one demonstrator told NBC Washington's Darcy Spencer outside the White House Friday. "So now I'm vindicated."

In an address to his country, Mubarak promised reforms, but many say it's too late.

"We are not going to accept any reforms," Amy Etdawi said. "The only reforms we want is for Mubarak to leave -- now."

While Egypt is considered to be the U.S.'s most important Arab ally, some say the U.S. government must support this demand for democracy, Spencer reported.

"I think the people are victorious," said Barghouti, who lives in Egypt but is currently teaching Middle East politics at Georgetown. "I think this is a glorious day in Egyptian history. This is the first successful people's revolution in the modern history of Egypt."

Saturday's clashes around Cairo's Tahrir Square became deadly when police opened fire on protesters after thousands tried to storm the Interior Ministry. Protesters could be seen carrying away at least three bodies.

"I can't contain my excitement to see young men and women going to the streets claiming those basic rights that you and I enjoy here in the United States," said Mohammed Abdeljaber, a student at Georgetown who is getting a PhD in Arabic and Islamic studies and who organized Saturday's protest.

Abdeljaber said he wants Egyptians to know that Americans are watching and aware of what's going on in the country.

In Cairo, tens of thousands of protesters are demanding Mubarak's ouster, clashing with authorities by day and looting by night. Dozens of people have been killed in Egypt since the start of protests Tuesday.

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