The ripple of celebration that broke out after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced his resignation spread quickly to New York City, home to one of the largest Egyptian populations in the United States. Thousands of people gathered on the streets and in cafes and restaurants, hosting impromptu parties to mark the political developments at home.
On the streets of Astoria, Queens, known also as "Little Egypt," hundreds of Egyptian Americans holding flags, signs and flowers chanted, sang and embraced after President Hosni Mubarak resigned Friday.
A section of one busy commercial street called Steinway was so flooded by revelers Friday night that police had to close it down to car traffic. Inas Rashed, who says she was visiting New York from Egypt, could not contain her elation. With tears flowing, she said she could not wait to return to a new country without Mubarak at the helm.
"All the Egyptians should admire themselves, should be impressed with themselves. We are free. We are happy. I'm very happy. Thank God. Thank God," Rashed said.
Word of parties in Astoria and in Jersey City, home to thousands of Egyptians, filtered across social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Egyptian-Americans said they were excited at the prospect of democracy and a new regime in Egypt. A handful of others said they were still uncertain about what might come next in Egypt's political transition. Elena Craig, who says she is of Egyptian decent, said she was thrilled to be part of any possible change.
"I can see a very bright future," said Craig. "It may take some time. Definitely. But Egyptians are strong and united."
Over the past three weeks, Egyptian groups in New York and New Jersey have been holding protests in solidarity with demonstrators in Egypt calling on Mr. Mubarak to stand down.