Egyptian Pins Hopes for Homeland on the Net

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Hesham Elmished stays in touch with his family in Egypt using the Internet. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Craig

A Norwalk businessman from Cairo said Friday he feared the Egyptian government was shutting down the Internet so it can brutally repress the protests embroiling the capital.

“With no one watching they can do whatever they want,” including use torture, said Hesham Elmished, 52, owner of And Company Inc. in SoNo. Elmished said the United States, which “is a beacon of freedom” to the world, should push Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step aside.

Elmished, who has operated his store on Washington Street for 25 years, said he stays in touch with his mother and siblings in Cairo via Facebook and left a message Thursday night to see whether the social media were still working. He said it was no longer working and that he has not been able to contact his brother. 

He said there is an active Facebook community -- Egyptian Association for Change – made up of Egyptians in their homeland and elsewhere that is appealing to the outside world for help.

Do you have family or friends in Cairo with whom you are in touch? Please tell us about it below.

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