These folks may want to get back to Cairo to avoid all the violence in Chicago. Then again, they may not be welcome. But we’re wondering, does the Muslim Brotherhood have a satellite office in Chicago? Who organized this rally?
About a year ago, Wael Elfeqy waited in a long line to cast his ballot for Egypt’s first democratically elected president. His candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won the election but was removed from office and jailed last week when the military seized power.
“We were so proud,” said Elfeqy, a physical therapist from southwest suburban Justice who travels frequently to Egypt, where he was born. “We were so proud of our democracy, and these guys stole it from us.”
While thousands rallied in the streets of Egypt both for and against Morsi’s ouster, Elfeqy was among hundreds of pro-Morsi demonstrators who protested Sunday on the Magnificent Mile, outside Chicago’s Egyptian Consulate. The protesters lined the sidewalks, many waving U.S. and Egyptian flags and holding homemade signs denouncing Egypt’s military and interim leadership.
Egyptian military officials say the country’s acting leadership is preparing for a new round of elections, but many of those gathered Sunday in Chicago fear a return to an autocratic government like the one protesters toppled in 2011.
Like Elfeqy, many of the Chicago demonstrators were born in Egypt. Others had roots elsewhere in the Arab world but said they grieved for their Egyptian friends and worried that the instability would resound far from the tense streets of Cairo.
“I’m very, very afraid that the violence started in Egypt will affect everyone,” said Alex Alomary, a Jordanian software engineer living in northwest suburban Harwood Heights.
Amazingly, nobody was shot at this protest.