How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

American snapshot: West L.A., January 29

Photo by Asim Bharwani/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A woman holds an Egyptian flag as the car she's in passes a protest in front of the federal building in West Los Angeles last Saturday, January 29, 2011

I came across photographer Asim Bharwani's terrific Flickr photostream this week while searching for photos of Saturday's Egyptian solidarity rally in front of the federal building in West Los Angeles, organized by Egyptian Americans from Southern California.

While I chose a different color-drenched photo of the local protesters for my posts, I loved this pair's quintesentially Angeleno approach to the rally. Bharwani titled it "Egyptian drive-by."

Bharwani also posts occasionally on his modenadude.com blog.

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For some Egyptian Americans, the revolution will be Facebooked

Photo by Asim Bharwani/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An Egypt solidarity rally, partly organized on Facebook, outside the federal building in West Los Angeles Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social media has played a remarkable role not only in how Egyptians used it to coordinate the anti-government protests that are now in their ninth day, but in how the world has witnessed, relayed information, and organized around the crisis.

Stories have ranged from the ways in which Egyptians finagled ways around a government shutdown of Internet and cellular access to continue using Twitter and Facebook to how a UCLA graduate student, employing a network of acquaintances in Egypt and old-fashioned telephone land lines, relayed eyewitness updates via Twitter @Jan25Voices.

Among Egyptian Americans, Facebook has played a big role in communicating, commiserating and organizing around the protests, as many have done in recent days to stage solidarity rallies in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. Many of the Facebook pages dedicated to the Egypt crisis are administered out of the United States (where they tend to be pro-demonstrator).

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An Egyptian American blogger's take on the crisis through two different lenses

Photo by Asim Bharwani/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Egyptian solidarity demonstration outside the federal building in West Los Angeles on Saturday, January 29, 2011

The blog Muslim Matters has an interesting post from a second-generation Egyptian American who was born in the United States but raised in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, giving him unique perspective on the anti-government demonstrations rocking Egypt.

It's been a week since the start of protests in the capital city of Cairo, with thousands of people clogging the streets to demand democratic reforms and the resignation of president Hosni Mubarak, a close ally of the United States but regarded by many in his country as a dictator.

Identified as Haytham, the author, a 28-year-old activist and graduate student who lives in New Mexico and occasionally posts on the site, contrasts his reaction as an Egyptian to the crisis with how it is viewed, he writes, "through an American lens."

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