"Tears of Joy" In Chicago Over Mubarak Resignation | NBC Chicago

"Tears of Joy" In Chicago Over Mubarak Resignation



    (Published Friday, Feb. 11, 2011)

    Members of Chicago's Muslim community reacted with jubilation Friday to news that Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak had made the decision to step down.

    "We hope it is a cold and others catch it," said Oussana Jammal, vice president of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, calling Egypt the "heart and soul of the Arab world."

    "Today, we are all Egyptians," said Zaher Sahloul of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. "We the people, has a new meaning!"

    Ashram Elessawi is an Egyptian-American who said he is overjoyed that the people in his homeland are "tasting what freedom means."

    Fellow Egyptian Ibrahim Sadek agreed.

    "It's a great day of triumph over a tyrannical and despotic regime," he said. "Never in its 7,000 year history, have so many resented a leader for so long."

    Yusif Fahmy and his father, Alaa, found it difficult to contain their emotions.

    "My father was crying," said Fahmy. "I thought they were rears of sadness. They were tears of joy!"

    "I couldn't believe it was happening," the elder Fahmy said. "I fell down, and I kept crying!"

    A small group of about 15 to 20 people was gathering Friday evening outside the Egyptian consulate, at 500 N. Michigan Ave., in a show of solidarity.