News / Middle East

Egyptians Cheer End of Mubarak Rule

An Egyptian soldier holds a boy atop an army vehicle as they celebrate the news of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who handed control of the country to the military, in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, February 11, 2011
An Egyptian soldier holds a boy atop an army vehicle as they celebrate the news of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who handed control of the country to the military, in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, February 11, 2011

Multimedia

Elizabeth Arrott

The resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak electrified the tens of thousands of people in Cairo's Tahrir Square. People danced, cheered and shed tears of joy as the central demand of their 18 days of protest was met and nearly 30 years of a presidency came to an end.

"It's over. The nation ended the regime." The words were chanted by young and old, men, women and the children they brought to celebrate the profound change Egypt has undergone.

"Welcome, welcome in New Egypt. Welcome in new Egypt." The simple sentiment of this protester was expressed by many on the square; an era has ended, and the future is theirs.

Women ululated, young men danced in spontaneous conga lines, and everywhere on the square - remarkably well-kept after 18 days of occupation - emotions overflowed.

Another protester said, "We were suppressed. We were subjected to such tyranny, and now I am saying we won the match against  him."

"Him" is former President Mubarak, whose seeming intransigence in a speech the day before prompted opposition figure Mohammed el Baradei to warn the nation would explode. And it did, just not in the way he thought.

Even in the street party that engulfed Cairo, however, there were voices of trepidation.

Cairene Adel Mohamed is among the wary. "He should have stayed until he finished his duration, and then he should have seen who comes after him. It's going to be chaos."

Watch Elizabeth Arrott's video report:

The military that has stepped in is promising to protect the nation, an echo of the origins of the regime that is now at its end. Not everywhere do people welcome a takeover by the armed forces, but such was the case in Egypt in the last century, when Gamal Abdel Nasser helped overthrow the monarchy and told his countrymen to "lift up your heads"

The same words were chanted anew Friday on Tahrir Square, a reminder of the American author Mark Twain's observation that "history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

Others, like Karim Fanous, joining in the mass movement to the streets, looked to the long days of hard work ahead.

"It's a very important transition that needs to be undergone progressively and carefully monitored," said Fanous. "I still don't believe it frankly - a bit skeptical."

With few independent institutions and a civil society that has been stifled for decades, plus a victorious opposition that includes secular leftists and conservative Islamists, there are many questions about how the transition will proceed.

On this Friday, though, this Cairo woman, was thinking of the more immediate future. "I think it will be the biggest party that Egypt's ever seen probably."

As Halah Said held a flag, whose colors emblazoned the band holding back her hair, she added, "I can't believe that it happened."

Watch Luis Ramirez's companion video report

Slide show of protests and reaction

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

 

<table class="promoGraphics" style="width: 233px; height: 24px;" border="0" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" align="right">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>
<p><sub><strong>VOA's Gary Thomas Discusses Blair Resignation:</strong></sub></p>
<p>
<object classid='clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000' width='225' height='24' id='single1' name='single1'><param name='movie' value='http://www.voanews.com/MediaAssets2/player/jw/player.swf'><param name='allowfullscreen' value='true'><param name='allowscriptaccess' value='always'><param name='wmode' value='transparent'><param name='flashvars' value='file=http://www.voanews.com/MediaAssets2/english/2010_05/intv_yackee_davies_gulf_oil_25May10-st.mp3&backcolor=7FA3BD&frontcolor=FFFFFF'><embed id='single2' name='single2' src='http://www.voanews.com/MediaAssets2/player/jw/player.swf' width='300' height='24' bgcolor='#ffffff' allowscriptaccess='always' allowfullscreen='true' flashvars='file=http://www.voanews.com/MediaAssets2/english/2010_05/intv_yackee_davies_gulf_oil_25May10-st.mp3&backcolor=7FA3BD&frontcolor=FFFFFF'/></object>
</p>
</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs