Change in Egypt must start now.
That is the message US President Barack Obama has delivered to his embattled counterpart in Cairo.
He spoke to Hosni Mubarak by telephone after the Egyptian leader announced plans to step down in September.
“What is clear and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now,” Obama said in a televised statement.
Peaceful change is also what some members of the Egyptian community in New York said they want to see.
Atef Abd El Rous said that in recent years Mubarak’s voice has been the only one heard in Egypt. “There were no free elections. Nobody was saying anything, except him.”
Ashraf Shoeib urged the President to leave office with dignity. “I think Hosni Mubarak should withdraw in a decent way that can lead to a new president coming in,” he said.
On the other side of the world from the rapidly unfolding events, residents of New York’s so-called “little Egypt” neighbourhood are following them closely.