Many NYC Egyptian-American firms ‘paralyzed’

Egypt’s uprising ripples in Queens

Groups continue to gather in Queens’ ‘Little Egypt’ to watch developments overseas.

All eyes here are on TV news there. No flights for NYC tour companies. Suez port backups and empty Cairo factories hit Fifth Avenue rug sellers and Garment District customers.
The news is inescapable in Astoria, Queens. A peek into the Egyptian Coffee Shop on Steinway Street on 25th Avenue Thursday revealed several local business owners seated at small tables and completely absorbed, eyes glued to the television as events more than 9,000 miles away unfolded on the screen.
“Egyptians are not that violent,” explained Ali Al Sayed, chef and owner of Kabab Cafe, which sits just across the street from the coffee shop. Mr. Al Sayed’s family lives in Alexandria. “Egyptians won’t move until they reach their limit.”

The QIZ program is part of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement and is intended to foster better trade relations in the region by requiring that a percentage of the materials added to clothing and manufactured goods in Egypt’s QIZ’s be produced in Israel.
If a government more hostile to Israel were to replace Mr. Mubarak’s, Mr. Bodeck said, that program could be in trouble, resulting in the loss of a major trading incentive. Regular duties for apparel not in QIZ’s are significantly higher, Mr. Bodeck said.
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