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Local Egyptian-American Man Keeps Eye On Violence A World Away

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A local Egyptian-American man — a documentary filmmaker by trade — is keeping a close eye on the deadly violence rocking Egypt.

KCAL9’s Political Reporter Dave Bryan spoke to Mustafa Toby Eck about the rioting and unrest that seems to have no end in sight.

In fact, Eck — who is also a graduate of USC film school — thinks the violence could last for years.

“Many years in fact before we know where this revolution is going,” says Eck.

The filmmaker told Bryan he believes in the principles of the Arab Spring uprising despite the deadly consequences.

“Unfortunately I feel like this is part of the growing pains of the new democratic country in our modern times,” says Eck.

The filmmaker is due to return to Egypt in several months — his third trip —  to finish his documentary.

“I cannot imagine civil war taking place in Egypt. I mean, we don’t have the same sort of issues that other countries have, like in Syria or Iraq. We don’t have a lot of sectarian groups, we basically only have Muslims and Christians for the most part. And on this mass level, it is very important,” says Eck.

Bryan said there is little unity as the army and government forces engage in running battles with the Muslim Brotherhood. Coptic Christiana are often caught in the middle, many of them are also fleeing the country.

“Unfortunately, there are a large number of Coptic Christians that are leaving. Even some of my Coptic Christians friends who live in the U.S. A lot of people are very weary of going back and some groups will have targeted Christians,” says Eck.

Eck’s documentary looks at changes in Egyptian society — and he starts with his own family.

“As someone who is Egyptian American who mostly lives in the United States,” Eck says, “I wonder how I fit into this revolution.”

Ever the optimist, Eck believes the next time he goes back he will be able to finish his project. But he also told Bryan that every time he nears completion, the situation just blows up again.

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