Rally calls for democracy in Egypt : Peaceful demonstration to protest for freedom and human rights

By Rachel Aretakis

The Lexington community will have the opportunity to peacefully protest in support of democracy and human rights on Saturday at the Justice and Peace Rally for Egypt.

The rally will take place at 2 p.m. in front of the Lexington Courthouse.

“We wanted to do something to make people aware of the situation,” Noha El Maraghi, organizer of the rally said.

“We want to show the Egyptian people that we support them and their fight to have the right to speak, to peace and democracy,” El Maraghi said.

The event started out small, but then it “exploded” because a lot of people were interested, El Maraghi said.

She said she was pushed to organize the rally because she was disturbed from watching news coverage of the situation in Egypt.

Though she organized the rally, El Maraghi said a lot of people wanted to do something and they just needed someone to organize it.

Teresa Isaac, former Lexington mayor, said in an e-mail to the Kernel that she is attending the event on Saturday to support Egyptian-Americans who live in Lexington.

She said she is also supporting “the concept that people in Egypt should be able to express their views without fear of violence.”

Third-year pharmacy student, Yahya Muammer, said in an e-mail to the Kernel that he is also attending the event on Saturday.

“It is our duty as believers in equality and freedom that we stand with the citizens of Egypt,” Muammer said.

Muammer said that Americans can relate to Egyptians because of their similar fight for freedom from the British.

“I hope for people to see this as a new beginning for Egypt. People are taking their country back, we must not forget that,” Muammer said. “Wherever freedom has a chance to blossom, we as a society, should embrace and nurture it.”

To advertise for the rally, El Maraghi created a Facebook event and a flyer and said that clubs and organizations have been contacting her to get involved.

She expects around 70 people to attend the rally.

Posters will be provided to people who come to the rally. Speakers and people marching will be present at the event, El Maraghi said.

“A lot of people feel very strongly about it… it is a violation of human rights, not having the right to speak up and protest for peace,” El Maraghi said.