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Local Egyptians pray and wait to hear from family members in Egypt

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Updated: 8/16/2013 10:48 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Another day of violent clashes in Cairo, Egypt has claimed 60 lives.

This, in addition to the more than 600 killed in protests between supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi and security forces.

The protests was launched following a military-imposed state of emergency.

The news of violence shocked some Egyptian Americans who grew up in the region and now live in our valley. The issues driving the violence are not so cut and dry.

“I was crying yesterday and praying and god gave me peace today but I'm just waiting to hear from them,” said Mervet Kolta who has been living in Las Vegas for three years. Her mother and sister live in Egypt.

Kolta a Coptic Christian, attends mass services at Saint Mary's church praying for her homeland.

“It is miserable, miserable... they say pray for us. Today I couldn't get in touch with them,” she said.

Owner of Bon Chef Cafe, Raafat Garas, has lived in Las Vegas since 1997. His sisters live in Egypt and the last time he spoke with them was three days ago.

Garas, who is also Coptic Christian, says he condemns the violence in Egypt and says it's not about Christians versus Muslims. It goes beyond that.

“It's nothing about Christians and Muslims,” Garas said. “Christians and Muslims have been living together forever in Egypt. It's the minority of the Muslim Brotherhood or we can say the Muslim extremists are firing up everything right now in Egypt.”

He's hoping the current political unrest will soon give way to better understanding of the turmoil in Egypt.

“My friends in Egypt, I have a lot of Muslim friends, and they call me and they check on me and ask me if my family is safe,” Garas said.

Family members in Las Vegas say they plan to keep in constant touch with their family back home and hope they are safe.

-- Fatima Rahmatullah, KSNV News, reporting

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