Family describes life in Cairo

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Central Virginians with loved ones in Egypt are watching the volatile situation closely.  NBC12 was there Monday night when a woman with Egyptian roots spoke to her aunt and sister, who are now in the middle of the chaos.

We introduced you to Dina El-Mahdy Sunday night.  She is the Virginia Commonwealth University student who moved here from Egypt to earn her PhD.  She described how her family members  is doing everything they can to make it.

Monday night, we got the stories straight from the people living them.  We sat down with Dina as she called her aunt in Cairo.  The local time there was almost 1 o'clock in the morning.

We asked about the mood in what has become a chaotic capital.

"They feel the change but they fear the future," Dina explained while acting as her aunt's translator.  "They don't know what will happen tomorrow.  It's quite mixed feelings."

Dina's aunt is in the middle of everything.  She lives on in downtown Cairo.  It is just a couple minutes walk from Al Tahrir where thousands gather in protest.

"She can see jets everywhere, big tanks, people are congregating everywhere, shouting, screaming, just scary," she said.

Dina's aunt is so afraid, she only goes out in the morning and can no longer use her car.

Dina's sister and brother live twenty minutes away in Maadi.  Still, her sister stays locked inside the home for most of the day and all of the night.

"She says lots of anarchy and looting have happened during the last couple of days and buildings are burning right now and she doesn't feel in security.  She doesn't feel like she can walk in the street.  She has big fear toward Egypt, home," Dina said.

Even after hearing their stories, Dina thinks she'd still consider joining the protestors in the streets.

"This is just the price we pay," she said.  "It's just too much."

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