Ohio State Marion professor proud of Egyptian protesters

News Release Date: 

Written by JOHN JARVIS • The Marion Star • February 6, 2011

CAIRO, Egypt - An Ohio State University at Marion professor said he hopes to leave "in the next couple of days" from his native Egypt where protesters demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Hassan Aly, an associate professor of economics at Ohio State Marion, said in an e-mail that he anticipates President Hosni Mubarak's regime will collapse within days and offered words of support for the protesters. Aly has been in Egypt since Jan. 17 "and got stuck in." Noting the government shut down the Internet in Egypt until the day before he sent the e-mail, he said he didn't know if he'd be able to use the Internet again this week.

"The level of solidarity I have seen among Egyptians in these difficult days are amazing," Aly said in the e-mail received Thursday night. "Young folks are standing all nights in front of the building to protect it from looting and robbery. There was no police since January 27th till yesterday when they are showing up again in small numbers. The citizens are running the country. Traffic signs are operated by citizens. Medical doctors are offering their services free of charges. Many examples of people sharing food supplies and lending each other money due to the closure of banks. I have to say, I am very proud of these people. I am praying for them to get rid of the dictator soon. They deserve a better life."

Aly also sent a column he said he wrote Jan. 22 about the "possibility of applying the Tunisian Scenario to Egypt," referring to the neighboring country whose president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled following large-scale protests. "It is amazing how this piece that I shared with colleagues from the Middle East Economic Association ... at that time, was predicting what will happen!"

In the piece, he contends the root causes of the Tunisian revolution "in many cases" run "much deeper" in Egypt.

Aly is a faculty member of the Middle East Studies Center and John Glenn Institute for Public Policy at The Ohio State University. From 2003 through 2005 he was economics professor and director of graduate studies for the College of Business at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.