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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs