The Arabic Studies grad student to whom Action News first spoke to last night was one of the hundreds of Americans who spent hours in the Cairo airport waiting for a U.S. charter flight to take them out of Egypt until the political crisis is settled.
Moments before his takeoff to Athens, the 22-year-old Novelli said he never feared for his personal safety despite some violent flare-ups near his Alexandria campus.
"I really feel solidarity with the Egyptian people, having been here for 5 months, I hope that this is resolved peacefully and Mubarak steps down and gives this country back to the people," Novelli told Action News over the phone Monday.
Novelli says he plans to return to Egypt to resume his studies within a year. He says the western world should not worry about a takeover there by Islamic fundamentalists like Al-Qaida.
"I look at the banners and what the people are shouting out in the streets and there's not one Islamist or fundamentalist Islamic chant," Novelli said.
Dr. Magid Abou-Gharbia, a professor at Temple University where Novelli graduated from last year, has the same view. Dr. Abou-Gharbia, who is from Egypt, travels to his homeland several times a year and says Mubarak has used a takeover as a scare tactic to con the western world especially the U.S.
Gharbia says Mubarak will be replaced in the short and long term by reasonable patriots who will seriously change Egypt for the better.
"There will be transition and good people will be elected and life will go back to normal," Gharbia said.
A million-man march in Cairo and Alexandria is scheduled for tomorrow.
Dr. Gharbia believes the end game is here and he predicts that Mubarak will be out of power by no later than week's end.