WBEZ | Sheikh Jamal Said http://www.wbez.org/tags/sheikh-jamal-said Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Egypt news excites Chicago Muslims http://www.wbez.org/story/ciogc/egypt-news-excites-chicago-muslims <p><p>News of the resignation of Egypt&rsquo;s thirty-year ruler Hosni Mubarak sent waves of excitement through the Chicago area&rsquo;s Muslim community as they went to afternoon prayer services Friday. Egyptian-American worshipers at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, cried with relief as they called the change a &ldquo;watershed moment&rdquo; in the history of Egypt and the Middle East. &ldquo;We are so proud,&rdquo; said Raba Gomaa during a press conference arranged by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.</p> <div>Though the change in Egypt&rsquo;s regime was announced just hours before the service began, it was the topic of Sheikh Jamal Said&rsquo;s sermon. &ldquo;We would like to congratulate our brothers and sisters in Egypt,&rdquo; said Said. &ldquo;The tyrant is gone, <span>Elhamdulillah. The tyrant is gone.&rdquo; In the women&rsquo;s worship space below, female congregants jubilantly greeted each other with the Arabic phrase that has become a refrain during the weeks of protest: &ldquo;Tahya Masr!&rdquo; (&ldquo;Long Live Egypt&rdquo;).</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The high emotions followed a period of deep despondency that set in with many Thursday, when Mubarak indicated in a speech that he had no intention of stepping down.&nbsp;But Karima Mohamed, who left Egypt roughly 20 years ago, said when she heard that speech she knew Mubarak&rsquo;s time was coming to an end. &ldquo;After two minutes we know something (was going to) happen,&rdquo; said Mohamed. &ldquo;The people (would) not accept it because he tried to play a game on the people, but the people over there, they're more smarter than what he did.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Others at the service said they believe the change in Egypt will ripple through the rest of the Middle East. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s 22 Arabic-speaking countries,&rdquo; said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of the CIOGC. &ldquo;Two of them are right now free: Tunisia and Egypt. Twenty are left.&rdquo;&nbsp;Oussama Jamal, Vice President of the Mosque Foundation, expressed similar hopes that the developments in Egypt won&rsquo;t stop at that country&rsquo;s borders. &ldquo;We hope it is a cold, and everybody will catch it soon,&rdquo; he said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Many of the Egyptian-Americans said they are confident that their countrymen will successfully steer through the transition period to a peaceful and fair democracy, and they&rsquo;re looking forward to helping in any way they can. &ldquo;In ten years you can see you can see Egypt not less than Europe or America,&rdquo; said Mohamed. &ldquo;It will be in the top again, insh&rsquo;Allah.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 23:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ciogc/egypt-news-excites-chicago-muslims