WJTV News Channel 12 - Raleigh Egyptian praises 'Independence Day' in home country

Raleigh Egyptian praises 'Independence Day' in home country

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Fireworks erupt over Cairo's Tahrir Square following the ousting of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi. Fireworks erupt over Cairo's Tahrir Square following the ousting of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was forced out of office on Wednesday by the country's military. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was forced out of office on Wednesday by the country's military.
Reverend Charles Farag leads the congregation at the Raleigh Arabic Baptist Church. He was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. Reverend Charles Farag leads the congregation at the Raleigh Arabic Baptist Church. He was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

An Egyptian Independence Day -- that's what one Raleigh Egyptian is calling the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi in his native country.  

"Independence Day for America is July 4.  Independence Day for Egypt is July 3," Reverend Charles Farag with the Raleigh Arabic Baptist Church said.

More: Top Brotherhood figure seized in Egypt sweep

Wild celebrations in Egypt marked the end of Morsi's presidency.  Police and civilians danced and cheered in Tahrir Square as fireworks erupted over the night sky.  The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood was deposed on Wednesday by the Egyptian military, with widespread public support.

"This is the people's decision," Farag said.

It's a concept Reverend Farag knows Americans have a hard time grasping.

"The ex-President, Morsi, served one party, the Muslim Brotherhood and ignored all the other parties," Farag said.

Farag was born in Cairo and lived there for 30 years.  He says the ousting of the nation's first democratically-elected president is a positive sign.  During Morsi's year in power, he changes Egypt's constitution, placing his presidency above government oversight during a time of economic turmoil.

"His policies were failing right and left and he was not able to help his economy grow," Farag said.  "Everybody lost their faith and companies started moving out of Egypt looking for more opportunities."

Still, Egyptians loyal to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are furious.  Some are armed and there's fears they could go underground and become an insurgency.

"This is the first time we're experimenting with democracy," Farag said.

It's an experiment with democracy that's off to a rocky start.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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