Showing Solidarity / News / The Foreigner

Showing Solidarity. Egyptians living in Norway were out in Oslo yesterday to show their sincere solidarity with the ongoing protests in Egypt. The demonstration started at 12 noon, where a considerable number of people gathered under the cold weather in front of the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget). The demonstrators carried the national flag of Egypt and held a number of colorful banners. Most of the chants, in Norwegian, English and Arabic, were identical to those being used in Egypt. ‘Enough is Enough’

hosnimubarak, oslodemonstration, norwegianparliament



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Showing Solidarity

Published on Sunday, 6th February, 2011 at 11:23 under the news category, by Fikru Tadesse.

Egyptians living in Norway were out in Oslo yesterday to show their sincere solidarity with the ongoing protests in Egypt.

Oslo demonstrants in front of Parliament
Oslo demonstrants in front of Parliament
Photo: ©2011 Fikru Tadesse/The Foreigner


The demonstration started at 12 noon, where a considerable number of people gathered under the cold weather in front of the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget). The demonstrators carried the national flag of Egypt and held a number of colorful banners. Most of the chants, in Norwegian, English and Arabic, were identical to those being used in Egypt.

‘Enough is Enough’

34-year-old Iman Lofti is a Norwegian-Egyptian woman actively leading the demonstration with a strong sense of conviction. Iman, who was born and raised in Cairo, has high hopes for her country. She firmly believes that the international community should be reminded that Egyptians are standing side-by-side against a dictatorial regime. 

“As an Egyptian, I’m showing my support to my people at home. We are out today here in Oslo to bring the issue to the attention of the Norwegian government in particular, and the European governments in general,” underscored Iman.  

The demonstrators cried a number of chants including ‘Hope for the Middle-East’, ‘Down with Mubarak’, ‘No More Mubarak’, ‘Freedom Now’ and ‘Long Live Egypt’, amongst others. The Norwegian ‘Nok er nok’, roughly translated as ‘Enough is enough’, was repeatedly voiced as a popular chant during the demonstration. According to Iman, this chant quite manifested the mood of the demonstration; the fact that Egyptians have had enough of Hosni Mubarak.

Iman Lofti with other demonstrators
Iman Lofti with other demonstrators
©2011 Fikru Tadesse/The Foreigner
“It is too sad that a dictator who has been unjustly ruling my country still wants to cling onto his power by every means possible. The demand of the Egyptian people is quite clear: Egyptians want him to step down right away,” she stressed.

‘No Place for Dictators’ 

Magdy Shehata, born and raised in Egypt’s Alexandria City, was the other Egyptian-Norwegian who took part in the demonstration. The 63-year-old Egyptian man was one of the Oslo demonstration’s coordinators. For him, the protest in Egypt is a wakeup call for all the dictators in the Arab world.

“There is no place for dictators in the modern world of democracy. We need to support all groups that fight repression and stand against oppression,” stated Magdy.    

He affirmed that the Norwegian government is well aware of the fact that the current Mubarak regime is highly corrupt and undemocratic.

“Mubarak has never been a leader who believes in freedom and democracy. As the Norwegian government bases its governance on democratic values and freedom, I’m sure it will eventually stand by the side of the Egyptian people,” Magdy added.  

Norwegian Support

Scores of Norwegians were also out supporting the cause. Anders Hamre Sveen was holding a ‘Nok er nok’ banner.

“I really feel pity for people who have to suffer under such regime. As a Norwegian, I am quite privileged to have the full right to freely express whatever I feel without being harassed by security forces. I want such kind of unconditional freedom to my Egyptian brothers and sisters,” claimed the 27-year-old.

Anders believes the international community should pay attention to the sufferings, which a number of people Demonstration against Hosni Mubarak
Demonstration against Hosni Mubarak
©2011 Fikru Tadesse/The Foreigner
endure in some corners of the world. He did not hide his frustration with his government’s lack of interest and support for the Egyptian protesters’ cause.

“I think people here in Norway unfortunately are distancing themselves from the issues related to the sufferings in Islamic countries. Islamophobia is rampant in Norway, and people are quite skeptical about the realization of democratic Islamic states. There is this notion that some people and politicians here and elsewhere think that if Mubarak steps down, Egypt will fall under the control of Islamist extremists,” Anders went on to say.

The Oslo demonstration ended with final chants echoing those voiced by protesters in Egypt. Even though they are thousands of miles away from their homeland, the distance did not hinder Egyptians here showing their solidarity with those who have taken to the streets in Egypt demanding Mubarak’s removal.             



Published on Sunday, 6th February, 2011 at 11:23 under the news category, by Fikru Tadesse.

This post has the following tags: hosnimubarak, oslodemonstration, norwegianparliament.





  
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