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Egyptian USU student: ‘They’re tricking people, there’s no reform’

February 9th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

Story and photo by Mariah Noble

LOGAN–Though demonstrations against the Egyptian government have been going on for weeks, President Hosni Mubarak has yet to find a compromise to satisfy protestors.

Hussein Batt, an Egyptian citizen studying for his Ph.D. in engineering at Utah State University, stays informed by talking on the phone to his family in Cairo each day. Batt said he does not believe the government has changed, despite talk of reform.

“They’re (government officials) just trying to trick the people, but there is no actual reform,” Batt said. “They have arrested a few guys in power like the minister of interior, just trying to convince people that everything is going to change.”

Things are getting much better for Batt’s family in Cairo, he said. Batt described life returning to about 80 percent normal for his family. He said part of the reason for this is because the police have returned to the streets, but there is a new sense of distrust between family members and police officers.

Though Batt wants the current government in his home country to be overthrown, he said it is still unclear who would fill the voids in government offices.

“We have people who are qualified,” Batt said. “We have a lot of people who are qualified, but no one who deserves this position – no one who has done anything to deserve this position.”

He said he still does not support Mubarak and doesn’t think what is being done is enough to satisfy the people. “He’s (Mubarak) changing the people, but it’s the same government so it’s not going to work,” Batt said. “You have to change everything, and everything includes the president.”

Batt said Mubarak’s actions are inconsistent with the plans he has announced. “No one knows why he’s stayed in power until now,” Batt said. “If you’re going to quit, why not quit now? Why stay until September?”

The people who are protesting are doing the right thing, but no one knows exactly which groups are still there, he said. “The people who are protesting don’t want to quit protesting,” Batt said. “Because if they quit, they’re going to get arrested.”

MORE: Feb. 4 interview with Hussein Batt

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