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Egyptian-­American Money Manager Talks At Tahrir

Egypt born Ahmed ­Fattouh runs a $200 million New York City emerging-­markets investment firm and is optimistic regarding his home country, albeit wary of the future.

Once protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square discovered that Ahmed ­Fattouh speaks ­Arabic and English, they asked the Egyptian-­American money manager to give them a speech.

“I had gone over to observe what was going on,” says ­Fattouh, 37, who runs $200 million New York City emerging-­markets investment firm Globalist Capital Management.“I felt drawn to the notion of change. I didn’t expect to be speaking to tens of thousands of people. And I was on stage just before [Hosni] Mubarak gave that obstinate speech saying he wasn’t going to step down.”

Fattouh was impressed that the demonstrators never lost their “peaceful and nonviolent posture.” He told the crowd they had the support of the Egyptian diaspora in America.

Born in Egypt but raised in Connecticut (his family emigrated in 1978), Fattouh has kept up with Egyptian politics; his great grandfather and grandfather were leaders of the Wafd party prior to the 1952 revolution.

Fattouh is optimistic, albeit wary of the future. “No matter what happens,” he says, “we have begun a process that at the end of the day is creating a living, beating constitution,” the foundation of any robust democracy, which, Fattouh hopes, will lead to an infusion of foreign investment.