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'Day of Rage' hits home for Egypt natives living in Tucson

Maggie Vespa

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

'Day of Rage' hits home for Egypt natives living in Tucson

CREATED Aug. 16, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The muslim brotherhood's "Day of Rage" has been marked by more protests and bloodshed.

Chaos and confusion reigned in the streets of Cairo Friday as supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi clashed with security forces.
 
The military fired tear gas and live ammunition on protestors. 
 
Security officials say at least 82 people were killed toda, including 10 police officers. 

For many of us here in southeastern Arizona, the violence in Egypt can seem worlds away, but for some, it may as well be in their own backyard.

She saw this morning's headlines and reached for the phone.
 
"I asked 'Do you have enough food?  Are you safe?" she said.
 
Tucson real estate agent Hawaii Radke was talking to her older sister.
 
She lives just outside of Cairo and has been holed up in her apartment since Wednesday.
 
 
"I think of them as being trapped.  It's just very unfortunate.  It's sad," she said.
 
Radke, who has several relatives in the area, has spent days digging for breaking details.
 
Sights and sounds coming from the region, such as those of gunshots fired during a live report, don't help.
 
9OYS reporter Maggie Vespa asked Radke, "How close to her home had any of these especially violent incidents happened?"
 
"Very very close.  50 yards, 100 yards," she said.
 
Also serving as little comfort are lawmakers' takes on Egypt's future.
 
"I would have serious doubts as to whether they're going to be able to keep everything under control," said Senator John McCain Friday.
 
It's the kind of worry, that experts say should resonate with all of us, whether we have family in the region or not.
 
"Nothing's a world away from you anymore," said retired U of A professor Dr. Charles Smith.
 
"All of this means a great deal in terms of our strategic interest in the middle east, in terms of Americans' safety elsewhere," he said.
 
Right now, Radke's concerns center on her family's safety, though seeing her homeland torn apart is tearing her up as well.
 
"They call it the mother of the middle east.  The history, the tourism," she said.  "Now, it's gone.  It's gone."
 
Radke says so far, her family is safe.
 
9OYS checked with the U of A.
 
Students studying abroad are not allowed to visit the region.
 
Those restrictions were put in place during the violent uprisings of 2011.

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