• Sweden edition
 
Egyptians in Sweden: Tunisia was the trigger
Protests in Egypt on Friday

Egyptians in Sweden: Tunisia was the trigger

Published: 28 Jan 2011 15:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Jan 2011 15:45 GMT+01:00

Egyptians in Sweden are planning to gather in Sergels Torg in central Stockholm on Friday evening in support of the protesters taking to the streets back home.

“We put the word out via Facebook to Egyptians in Sweden. We’ve been communicating actively since the protests started in Egypt,” Kholoud Saad, and Egyptian living in Gävle in eastern Sweden, told The Local.

Saad has been living and working in Sweden since July of 2010, but has been following events in her home country carefully. She described the current protests as a “revolution”.

“It’s Muslims, Christians, moderates, liberals…Egyptians of all kinds who are fighting for their freedoms,” she said.

“We’re not going to stop until we established democratic reforms and get a government that represents the people and not their own agenda.”

The Friday night gathering in Stockholm was initiated by Hassam Selim, an Egyptian living in the Swedish capital.

"There is a big revolution sweeping across the Arab world," he told The Local.

"We want to support them. I'm an Egyptian and it's my country and we're all looking for our freedom...it will be great to see 80 million Egyptians regain their humanity."

In a statement issued on Friday, Bildt said Egypt's decision to shut down the internet as "almost unprecedented".

“I have not been able to come up with any previous example of this happening other than in Burma in 2007,” he said.

“Obviously, the future of Egypt cannot be shaped by closing the internet - instead it must be shaped by opening up the political system.”

Bildt’s comments come amid continued demonstrations in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and Alexandria. The protests, which began on Monday, are considered to be the largest anti-government protests since 1977.

The pro-democracy demonstrators are pushing for regime change in the North African country, which has been ruled by President Hosni Mubarak since 1981.

While Saad explained that pro-democracy forces in Egypt have been organising for more than a year, the recent political upheaval in Tunisia played a role in bringing Egyptians to the streets.

“Tunisia was the trigger,” she said.

“We saw what they were doing and said why not try to do it like they did in Tunisia.”

Egyptians are set to head to the polls in September for presidential elections which Bildt said were of “vital importance”, but it remains unclear what effect current events may have on the country’s political future.

Saad said she was looking forward to demonstrating with other Egyptians in Sweden, but admitted it was hard to be away from her home country.

“I’m boiling with anger and want to get on the first plane back so I can be there,” she said, adding that the current regime was “putting Egypt back in the dark ages” by shutting down communications.

Bildt also slammed the government’s decision to close down the internet as “downright dangerous”.

“In the long run, free access to information is better for confidence and stability than restrictions and prohibitions,” said Bildt.

“Measures such as this, that aim at short-term stability, may very well lead to more long-term suppression.”

According to the Swedish foreign ministry, around 250,000 Swedes visit Egypt annually, primarily as tourists.

While the ministry has stopped short of issuing a travel warning for Egypt, it is advising Swedes to follow developments closely and avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place.

Selim estimated that Friday's demonstration in Stockholm would likely draw about 200 people, but that other demonstrations are being planned for next week.

"Things in Egypt are happening so fast, it's hard to keep up," he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:09 January 28, 2011 by Localer
gosh, why involved peaceful Stockholm !!!!!! leave it alone, and if you want to demo go back and fight for your freedom !
17:49 January 28, 2011 by Maler1971
This accomplishes absolutely nothing.
19:04 January 28, 2011 by wxman
Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Egypt. This is Iran 1979 redux.
19:50 January 28, 2011 by Dave N
Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Sweden. This is Europe 2091.
20:21 January 28, 2011 by Ravioli
In one year, Egypt will be an Islamic state. Guaranteed. then we'll see about all of these 'freedoms' that the protesters are talking about.
20:39 January 28, 2011 by truthworthy
The west is contracting itself now. You talk about democracy but you dont want democracy in Egypt because that dictator is a West ally. Whether Egypt will be Islamic nation or not that will depend the choice of the people but for now the dictator Must Go.
21:39 January 28, 2011 by Israeli Jew
Now it is time for Sweden and Europe in general to send universal army " to protect the only democratic country in the region "Israel" from those radicals. However, I know very well that the phoney people (Swedes) hate israelis, so obviously they wont. They just want to support th palestinians who attack civilian israelis.
22:21 January 28, 2011 by Muff
''Whaaaa whaaa, why don't Muslims do something about their own countries instead of bugging us?!''

Rioting starts against dictatorial government.

''Whaaaa whaaaa, I liked the status quo.''

Jeeez, make up your minds.......
22:38 January 28, 2011 by superturbo
Aha, the birth of yet another Islamist republic. Just what the world needs...
23:03 January 28, 2011 by bow290
Sweden is ur home now guys... right? why take a dump in ur own front yard? go back 2 Egypt and do ur protesting! all ur going to do is inconvenience the locals :)
23:09 January 28, 2011 by Uncle
Egypt has 2 ways to go. Whether the peaceful religion of Islam with their people-loving Muslim Brothers, who killed countless numbers of the beloved people and are planning to install a fully democratic (except women..and gays...and Christians...and converts...and Jews...and just secular people...) state.

Or, Mubarak will concede to some demands, fire some ministers and bribe the key oppositioners and stay.

Installing an actual stable democracy there is never possible, like it is not possible in Lebanon, where Hezbollah has a bigger army than the government and physically controls third of the country, druze have their own army and palestinians control the north.

But actually, these small revolutions are quite good. It shakes up the muslim dictators a bit. Makes them think of a strategy to please the people also.
23:37 January 28, 2011 by technoviking
A Western friendly dictator is better than Islamist maniacs any day... Hopefully this doesn't end badly.
01:48 January 29, 2011 by svenne101
muslim population will double in the coming 30 years from now and that is root cause of the problem. unemployment , corrpution, violence, shortage of basic ameneties, law less ness , fighting for so called FREEDOM are the consequences.

you muslims please stop breeding and try to learn how to rule yourself and become enlightened and strong individuals.

qulity is important than quantity. keep in mind that only strong ones only survive and weak ones will die as time goes. that is the natural.
02:51 January 29, 2011 by alex.49
Its sick how most of the comments are from people supposed to be from an "open minded-free society" !

let the people wherever they are choose whatever they choose, I am sure they wont mind whoever governs Sweden, if they were in your shoes.

Fact: Egypt has a population of over 80 million and Mubark is ruling for the last 30 years under emergency laws (supported by US and EU) which Im sure non of you had ever experienced what its like.

People dont have to live miserably elsewhere so that you just want to feel "safe" in Europe!
03:44 January 29, 2011 by svenne101
fact:egypt had only 20 million in 1950 and will become 110 million in 2050.

SWEDEN had 7 million in 1950 and also 7 million 2050.

now muslims if you have any brain just think the quality of life between swedish and egypt.

MUSLIMS DONT BREED on social money.
06:23 January 29, 2011 by UScitizen
@svenne101

Well, you're a little off in your count there but how many of those 7 million Swedes are Muslim now, compaired to 1950? I'm all for democracy in any country but here's what will happen if Egypt does become an Islamic run nation: there will be suicide bombers in the streets killing off all the minorities. Democracy is great compaired to a dictorship if it can be peaceful democracy.
06:36 January 29, 2011 by svenne101
@UScitizen

good question. in 2050 out of 7 million sweden may be 3 million are muslims.
07:35 January 29, 2011 by rybo1
I've scanned the comments and just about all of them are rubbish from the brain dead.
07:45 January 29, 2011 by svenne101
@ rybo1

i presented the statistics and they are 100% facts. can you please explain me how the my brain is dead?
08:18 January 29, 2011 by rybo1
Svenne 101

Projections of what may or not be in 2050 are not facts.
08:33 January 29, 2011 by Israeli Jew
@Uncle #12

"But actually, these small revolutions are quite good." & "Makes them think of a strategy to please the people also."

Really? and you are considering that is a good thing?

The ultimate dream and wish of all Muslims is to kill all jews and destroy Israel. I guess you consider this as a "quite good" thing,,, shame on you...
11:21 January 29, 2011 by johnny1939
If Egypt wants to become a moslem republic it is their choice.
12:35 January 29, 2011 by samwise
the past is depressing, the future is not necessarily so bright, but the ones who risk their lives for a freer society deserve some respect and encouragement.

I'm kind of pessimistic for the future of Egypt too.
13:54 January 29, 2011 by svenne101
@ rybo1

at you agree to the fact that egypt population raised from 20 million in 1950 to 80 million in 2010.

so they have fight for food or die. and they deserve it.
14:28 January 31, 2011 by AHA
The problems in Egypt and the Arab world started 1952 with Abdul Nasser. I am not saying that the monarchy was a blessing for Egyptians. You just cannot substitute a corrupt king with a dictator.
15:10 January 31, 2011 by Rick Methven
Svenne101 would not recognise a fact if it bit him on his nose which is as far as his pea brain can see

He is just one of the brain dead trolls that hang around this forum
Today's headlines
Stockholm Pride climax set to be 'hot and humid'
Stockholm Pride 2013. File photo: TT

Stockholm Pride climax set to be 'hot and humid'

The weekend is set to offer up hot and humid weather with a chance of thunderstorms as Stockholm Pride gets ready to wind its festive path through the city's streets. READ  

Swedish police chase German ambulance
A German ambulance. File photo: TT

Swedish police chase German ambulance

Swedish police took up the chase after a German registered ambulance late Friday night after reports that it had been racing around the forests in Småland with its siren on and lights flashing. READ  

Interview
'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag

Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag tells The Local why he plans to remove the term "race" from all Swedish law, how he responds to his critics, and why Sweden must steer clear of xenophobia. READ  

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Tourism in Sweden is on the rise, with the first half of 2014 seeing a boom in visiting figures for both domestic and foreign tourists. READ  

Northern Dispatches
How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

Ex-Londoner Paul Connolly has just survived a northern Sweden heat wave. But it wasn't the high temperatures that were the real problem, he recounts. READ  

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

Saturday marks the Stockholm Pride Parade, the biggest event of Pride Week (and the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia). Here's what to see and where to be, as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities for the weekend. READ  

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden
File photo: Carl Dougge/Flickr

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden

Even though Sweden's Traffic Agency has drastic plans to reduce the number of people killed by trains in Sweden, a new report shows that figures are on the rise. READ  

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

UPDATED: A woman in southern Sweden is furious after stumbling upon scores of skulls and human bones inside Ikea bags in a church. The man who dug up the bones, however, says it's not as bad as it looks. READ  

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

There are now more Swedish Wikipedia entries than any other language in the world, besides English. And there's one Swede who's largely responsible. READ  

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police
The aftermath of the attack in Seved, Malmö on July 6th 2014. Drago Prvulovic / TT

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police

Police in southern Sweden have concluded that a man who was beaten with an iron pipe for hanging an Israeli flag in his window was not a victim of a hate crime. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Stockholm demonstration against Israel
National
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
National
Gender neutral pronoun 'hen' enters dictionary
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

721
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se