Politics & Government

California man leads lobbying to halt U.S. aid to Egypt

Sacramento businessman Kais Menoufy will lead a national coalition of prominent Egyptian Americans to fight for democracy and against oppression in Egypt.

The American Egyptian Strategic Alliance – seeking to represent half a million Egyptian Americans – plans to lobby Congress to stop the annual flow of $1.3 billion in aid to a repressive Egyptian military stifling dissent by killing protesters, Menoufy said.

He was on the brink of tears Sunday after watching a video of Egyptian military police savagely beating a female protester in Cairo's Tahir Square Saturday. The video shows the veiled woman's bare midriff and bra exposed by her attackers. "This is unheard of in the 5,000-year history of Egypt," said Menoufy, 65, who left Egypt as a 29-year-old computer programer. "I'm angry and I'm going to Egypt next week to meet with the revolutionary leadership."

He said he wasn't afraid of being hurt or killed because he believes a free Egypt is his destiny.

"I was shot at in the 1972 war and nothing touched me, and we were in Tahrir Square the week Mubarak stepped down," Menoufy said.

The Associated Press reported that at least 10 protesters in Cairo died and 441 others were injured in three days of violence, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry.

"While people were peacefully camping in the square, police set fire to their tents," Menoufy said.

Mahmoud El Ashmawy of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C., said Sunday he had seen the video but doesn't know how it happened and had no information about the alleged attack on protesters.

Menoufy, CEO of Delegata Technology Consulting and Systems Integration, has been been asked to serve as president of the American Egyptian Strategic Alliance. The growing organization includes Nobel Prize winners, financiers and scientists, Menoufy said.

"We are not asking Congress. We are telling them to stop supporting the bad guys right now," he said. "The old and traditional Egypt is trying to kill the modern and new. Totalitarianism in its ugliest form is doing its best to stifle Democratic aspirations of the young and healthy in Egypt."

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