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Local woman caught in Egypt during unrest

MANATEE -- It’s a small protest and there is nothing to worry about.

Dian Weldon, 54, was told something along those lines by an Egyptian tour guide as she was on her way to a bazaar in downtown Cairo on Jan. 25, the same day the political protests began in the capital city.

She recalls that first day of protest. Police and military personnel were standing around the weapons as thousands of protesters voiced their opinion against the Egyptian government.

“They are angry and they want change,” said Weldon, a Bradenton resident. “Their economy is bad over there and they want jobs.”

The protesters are also upset about high levels of corruption in their government and high poverty levels.

Weldon went to Africa with her sister-in-law to surprise her daughter, who lives in Casablanca, Morocco. They took a detour afterward to Egypt to see the pyramids.

Being overseas during a time of political turmoil made Weldon think of two things: 1. Locate the closest United States consulate, and 2. How thankful she is to live in America.

“In the United States I am equal to my neighbor, whether it’s a man or someone who was naturalized or born a citizen, it’s an equal playing field,” said Weldon, adding she is more thankful now for the way government works in this country.

She said when her connection flight landed at New York she felt a sense of relief to be back in the United States, miles away from the unrest happening in Egypt. Those feelings of relief got more intense when she landed in Tampa on Saturday morning.

But her mind is still in Cairo as she keeps track of the protests from her Bradenton home.

“It’s a sad situation,” she said.