BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Sen. John Kerry says the Egyptian people have won the chance for a new beginning, but considerable work lies ahead to assure free and fair elections in that country.
The Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a statement Friday after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Kerry had previously called on Mubarak to step aside as soon as possible.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz talked with local Egyptians.
On Friday, Kerry called for the Army and transitional leaders in Egypt to lift emergency law and set a timetable for “credible elections.” He also said the U.S. should assist Egypt in building a government responsive to its citizens.
Kerry said elections alone do not always guarantee freedom. He cited Gaza, where the Islamic militant group Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006.
Locally Egyptians celebrated as well. Dina El-Zanfaly, the head of the Egyptian Association at M.I.T., said he was “screaming all over the place.” She has been in America for 15 months, and her father and sister are back in Egypt. She’s been keeping in touch with them through Skype and Facebook.
“I think it’s a brighter future cause now we are having freedom to speak and democracy and build a better Egypt and we’ll work on it,” she said.
Hesham Hamoda, a physician at Children’s Hospital in Boston, added that they’re ecstatic that this is “finally happening in Egypt.”
Hamoda moved to the U.S. from Egypt five years ago and has a lot of family still in his home country.
“I couldn’t concentrate on my work,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything else except think about what this means for my country and all the emotions that people are experiencing on the streets of Egypt.”
Hamoda said what happens next is questionable, but it’s better than what the country had before.
“I think our country will move in the direction of democracy,” he said. “How soon is still a question.”
WBZ’s Jonathan Elias spoke with Egyptians celebrating in Massachusetts.
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