Spa businessman celebrates Egyptian revolution

Posted at: 07/03/2013 11:29 PM
By: Dan Levy

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The freedom celebrations in Egypt are getting noticed in the Capital Region. For Mohamed Amin, a Saratoga Springs business owner, the taste of freedom for his fellow Egyptians is especially sweet.

Long before he opened his Hamada gift shop on Broadway Wednesday morning, Amin was tuned in to social media, connected with family in Egypt, and focusing on every development in a revolution that has captivated the world. At daybreak, it was an uneasy feeling.

"We were worried," Amin said. "We put our hand on our heart. We were shaking because we weren't sure which way it was going to go."

As it turns out, everything went well from his stand point. When the Egyptian military announced that President Mohammed Morsi was out, and democratic elections were in the not-too-distant future, the streets of Cairo erupted in euphoric celebration.

"People worked very hard to accomplish this and we should give them credit for that," he said.

Amin says he thinks it's wrong to label what happened as a coup. With 22 million Egyptians signing a petition to get rid of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime, Amin insists what happened was a revolution, it was the will of the people getting what they have long deserved.

"They don't want someone to tell them what to do," said Amin, who fled Egypt in 1986 when he was 20. "They don't want someone to tell them how to dress, how to eat, how to go to the mosque, how to pray. Egypt is free from fundamentalism and from this ideology, which has controlled people for a lot of years."

Amin is one of six children in his family, and the only member of his family to flee Egypt. His parents have never left the country, but he says he's looking forward to visiting them so that the entire family can celebrate the feeling of freedom together.