Sunday, July 7, 2013

Egyptian- Americans reflect on changes in their homeland

Regime changes unfolding halfway across the globe can impact immigrants watching the turmoil from here in their adopted country. This past week has been especially turbulent in Egypt, as Islamist President Mohamed Morsi's administration was toppled by the nation's military.

Depending on what news source you watch, you may think Egyptian-Americans are celebrating in the streets, or you might hear that they are worried for their families back in the homeland. 
Adding to the difference in reaction is the diversity within the immigrant community. Americans don't always appreciate the diversity of the Middle East. Egypt included. While the majority of Egyptians are Muslim, the country is also home to a large Coptic Christian community. Egyptian-American Christians were always wary of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood ties. But there is also concern of the military toppling Egypt's first democratically elected president.

There are over 190,000 Egyptian-Americans in the United States, according to the the 2010 American Community Survey. The largest communities are in California (39,436) , New Jersey (29,889), and New York (25,978). Egyptians are the 2nd largest Arab nationality in the United States after Lebanese.

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