WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The State Department has a blunt warning for US citizens today: Avoid travel to Egypt. And if you live there, leave.
More than 600 people have been killed in the latest round of political violence in that country and almost 4,000 are hurt.
With the situation in the key US ally worsening, President Obama took a break from his vacation to condemn the killings.
Meanwhile, this international story hits close to home to some here in our area.
While the world watches the uprising in Egypt from afar, Sam Rayyan stays glued to every move in the fight due to his strong ties to region. He says he is disgusted by what he has seen.
"They've been being killed by the military that is supposed to help them and protect the people of their country," said Rayyan, who owns Princess Pizza in downtown Wilmington. "The military has been killing their own people."
Jordanian by birth, Rayyan once lived in Egypt and has many friends and family there. As he focuses on their safety he feels the western media is focused on the wrong subject.
"Everybody is talking about Muslimhood, Muslimhood, Muslimhood. What's wrong with Muslimhood when they control a country with a free, democratic election," Rayyan said.
Rayyan says the military needed to give now ousted president morsi a chance to fix things and stabilize Egypt, but he feels like the Arab Spring that ended the old regime never should have happened in the first place.
"I wish Mr. Hosni Mubarak didn't leave the territories," Rayyan said. "I wish he stayed in power, because I give him credit, because he controlled 30 years and ran this country with no problems. I wish Mr. Hosni Mubarak would come back."
And as the death toll rises, Rayyan says there is no end in sight.
"The people don't know what the government needs. Even the new president, he doesn't know what he needs," he said. "Everybody says something, but if you ask anybody who says they want to run egypt and ask him what is your goal, and I bet you he doesn't know."
Rayyan says he feels like the United States should stay out of Egypt to avoid having another situation comparable to Iraq and Afghanistan.