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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid