The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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July 12, 2013

Mankato man from Cairo reflects on unrest

Maged Lotfy headed back to Egypt today

MANKATO — Despite ongoing reports of massive protests of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Maged Lotfy of Mankato is headed there today to his native city of Cairo.

In fact, Lotfy's wife has been there for two months with the Lotfys' daughter who just gave birth to their grandchild. And while the capital city appears to be in a state of complete unrest, Lotfy said that's not the case.

“It is safe. It is very safe,” Lotfy said. “Almost everything is settled.”

Lotfy has two sons who attended Minnesota State University, and he moved to Mankato just a year and a half ago “for a better life,” he said. He's an engineer and is working to perfect his English at Adult Basic Education in Mankato. Meanwhile, though, he's kept a close eye on his home country.

“Even though I am living in Minnesota, in Mankato, I have to watch what's happening in Egypt,” Lotfy said.

On Friday, tens of thousands of supporters of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood massed in main squares in several cities, waving pictures of Mohammed Morsi and chanting that the head of the military is a "traitor," stepping up denunciations of the army over its removal of the country's first freely elected president.

Islamists vow they can continue their campaign of street rallies as long as necessary to force the reinstitution of Morsi. But at the same time, the new military-backed administration has intensified its crackdown on the leadership of Morsi's Brotherhood, starting criminal investigations against Morsi and issuing arrest warrants on a host of others.

Lotfy believes the Muslim Brotherhood is no longer a threat, and the country is moving in the right direction with the naming of economist Hazem el-Beblawi, a compromise candidate supported by a key Islamist party, as interim prime minister.

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