Nashville Egyptians praying for peace - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Nashville Egyptians praying for peace


The violent protesters in Egypt promoted this day as Angry Friday, promising more bloodshed.

In Nashville, where 12,000 people of Egyptian heritage live, the day was more about prayer and sadness.

"I feel so bad because this is my country," said Michael Faltas. "I am praying. I hope for my God to stop this trouble."

Egypt television is must-see TV for Faltas. The channel never changes, and it's not easy to watch.

The bleeding happening in Egypt personally touches the Nashvillians with ties to that country.

On Friday at the Hookah Bar on Murfreesboro Road, the sounds of this culture, the waterpipe and traditions like Turkish coffee were the only relief to the scenes on television.

"I can't believe what's happening right now," said Hany Rezx, who has lived in the United States for 14 years.

Rezx said even though he lives here now, Egypt will always be home. He said 99 percent of Nashville's Egyptian community supports the army now, not the Muslim Brotherhood.

That's his political stance, but in his heart, he just wants peace.

"It doesn't matter if it's Muslim Brotherhood or Egyptian army or whatever. I'm not happy. This is Egypt," said Rezx.

At St. Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church, the popular solution is prayer.

The pews were empty this afternoon, but will be filled for tonight's service. More than 1,000 people are expected, more than this holy place can hold.

All are praying for peace.

"They're proud to be Egyptian and proud to be Christian," said George Hanna. "They want the country to be safe."

The Egyptian Nashvillians have a strong sense that things would get better soon and that there would be a resolution that would end the violence.

That common belief, they agreed, was based on more than just faith.

The violence in Egypt is also having an effect on business.

Several multinational corporations like General Motors, Toyota, Suzuki, Shell and BASF have closed factories and offices, telling thousands of workers to stay home.

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