Amy Goodman Loses a Sidekick

Amy Goodman Loses a Sidekick

By Polly Mann

             I first saw him when Amy was doing a program in the Twin Cities a few years ago.  There was a demonstration “Democracy Now” was trying to film.  She was out on the street when she was set upon by the police.  He was there with her – a handsome young Middle Eastern man carrying a camera as I recall.

            That was Egyptian Sharif Abdel Kouddous, the subject of a recent article in The Progressive magazine.  He worked his way into “Democracy Now,” beginning with the submission of articles, next working as office boy, then  a news writer, and finally as producer.

            Arriving in theUnited States at age eighteen, to attend Duke University, he ended up working  as an investment banker with Bank of America Securities in the leveraged buyout division.  But not for long – as he discovered he hated not only the work but the bank culture.  He took some journalism classes, began reading about the second Palestinian Intifada and from then on, his life changed.

            Now in his early thirties he has decided to return to Egypt to participate in the building of a new democratic country.  Kouddous tells how the removal of Mubarak offers Egyptians challenge and hope.  “…when I see my eighty-year-old grandmother telling me that she’s going to vote for the first time in her life, when I see my sixteen-year-old brother willing to protect his building with a gun and stand for eight hours in the night, where two weeks before the only thing that mattered to him was video games – that tells you something about a change in population.”

            When the majority of Americans want a change in the U.S. perpetual war policy and cannot get the Congress to respond, perhaps they should seek advice from the Egyptians?

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