Comments Roundup: Voices of Arab New Yorkers


On the Brian Lehrer Show today, North African and Middle Eastern New Yorkers called in with thoughts and feelings about the uprisings raging across the region. Plus, Debbie Almontaser, an educator and board chair of the Muslim Consultative Network whose brother lives in Yemen, discussed her views on what's happening in the Middle East.

Today because of the uprising and Tunisia and Egypt, Arab voices and the Yemeni voices are somehow being heard, but not to the point where everyone wants to be in the same page with governments such as Egypt and Tunisia.

- Abraham from Brooklyn.

It's thrilling, it's exuberating, I can't even find the words to describe it, but at the same time it's frightening, because of the number of deaths that have taken place, in Egypt and now in Libya and even in Yemen. So the casualty aspect is what frightens me the most. How many lives will have to be lost for liberty and freedom, for a sense of democracy these people wish and hope for.

- Debbie Almontaser

There's a bunch of elites here, in this country who want the status quo to continue. They want the war to continue in that region, in the Middle East because that region has oil. And they want the status quo to continue, the military companies manage to sell these guns to the Middle East, and that money, those petro dollars they give it to Senators and Congressmen who not really support democracy.

- Abdul in Midtown

It's been incredible to see the level of sophistication within all these demonstrations where people want to do this peacefully. And it truly changes this image of Arabs and Muslims are so-called violent people. The spirit of Arabs and Muslims in these demonstrations has been incredible and uplifting for me and thousands and thousands of Arabs and Muslims across the world.

- Debbie Almontaser