Famous faces lend voice to Egypt's protests

Sat Feb 5, 2011 4:10pm EST
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By Shaimaa Fayed

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's cultural glitterati have joined thousands of protesters from all walks of life calling for an immediate end to President Hosni Mubarak 30-year-rule.

Khalid Abdalla, a British-Egyptian actor known for his lead role in the 2007 adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner," was among the crowd on Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) square on Saturday.

"I'm here because I'm asking for Mubarak to step down," Abdalla, 30, told Reuters. "I've been here since Friday before last."

Mubarak has pledged to stay on until the end of his term in September, but protesters mounted pressure on him to leave now as they gathered on the square for a 12th day of protests.

As demonstrations continued, an Egyptian army commander was shouted down when he tried to persuade thousands of demonstrators to stop the protest that has stalled economic life in the capital.

Khaled Youssef, director of films critical of the government, was another prominent face among the protesters.

"The Brotherhood are here in Tahrir, so what?" he said of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood group.

"They are part of this nation -- everyone is here. When citizens desire life, fate must respond."   Continued...

<p>Cast member Khalid Abdalla attends the premiere of "The Kite Runner" in Hollywood December 4, 2007. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>