News / Africa

Egyptians Celebrate Mubarak Departure, Look to Future

Egyptians celebrate on Tahrir Square in Cairo, February 12, 2011
Egyptians celebrate on Tahrir Square in Cairo, February 12, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Egyptians are cleaning up after celebrations that followed the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's leader of nearly 30 years. The military, which assumed control of the country,  on Saturday said Mr. Mubarak's Cabinet will remain in place for now while Egypt transitions to a democratic system. The military also vowed to "remain committed to all regional and international" accords including peace treaties, confirming Egypt's landmark 1979 peace treaty with Israel would remain intact.

Saturday was a day of cleaning at Tahrir Square and throughout Central Cairo even as celebrations were going on.  Groups of people went to the streets and to the square with brooms and dustpans in hand to help clear up the filth and debris that built up during the 18 days of demonstrations.   

Some wore banners on their clothing that said “yesterday I was a demonstrator, today I am building Egypt.”

24-year-old architect Rania Tamoum says it was important for her to show she wants to be a part of the rebuilding process.  “It's our country. It's our responsibility, so we have to clean it,” she said.

Tamoum joined thousands of others in celebrating Hosni Mubarak's resignation.   She said she has not thought about a blueprint for the future, since her only goal while demonstrating was to see Mr. Mubarak go.

“Actually, I cannot say what clearly I want.  I can say that I want a better Egypt. I really want a new government.  We don't want any of the icons or the symbols of the old government,” said Tamoum.

The mood was jovial Saturday, even as celebrations were winding down.  A group of men sang an Islamic song, as they walked off the square. Some people began taking down the tents where they have been camping out, and preparing to go home.  Some are staying.  

Abdel Hamed Taha, an imam, said Mr. Mubarak's departure was only the beginning of the changes he wants to see.  He will remain on the square.

He says he is at the square to follow up on what he says was the victory of the revolution.  He said demonstrators have achieved only one of the demands, and he wants a dialogue with the army.

The transition is now in the hands of the military, which has promised to hand over power to an elected civilian government. The demonstrators demanded  free and transparent elections in which all groups - including the banned Islamist Muslim Brotherhood can participate.  They also want a lifting of emergency laws, and a re-writing of the constitution.

A spokesman for Egypt's supreme council of the armed forces on Saturday said it has asked the existing Cabinet to stay in a caretaker capacity. He also said Egypt will respect its existing international agreements that include a peace treaty with Israel.

Over the past few days, the army has emerged as heroic in the eyes of many Egyptians for not cracking down on the demonstrators.  On Saturday, tanks stayed in their positions throughout central Cairo. People took pictures with soldiers, and children handed them flowers.  

Now, Egyptians are counting on the military to take the country to the next step, and deliver on the promises of a change for the better.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More