Seham's links 12 February 2011
Jubilation in Egypt
* Revolt overlaid with strong patriotic tones
* "I am Egyptian, I have toppled Hosni," - protest chant
Seconds after the official announcement was broadcast on state television and radio, protesters waiting at the presidential palace in the Heliopolis neighborhood of Cairo celebrate the resignation of president Hosni Mubarak.
Two hours after Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president for 30 years, announced his resignation, the party in Tahrir Square - the heart of the revolution - was in full effect. A singer who has been performing in the square for days played a protest song on his acoustic guitar: "The people finally brought down the system."
Two hours after Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president for 30 years, announced his resignation, central Cairo became one enormous party.
As Mubarak's resignation is announced, Al Jazeera switches live to Tahrir Square for the crowd's reaction in central Cairo.
Cars sound their horns in Egypt's second city as Mubarak's resignation is announced.
Hours after longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak officially resigned, caving to protesters demands after 18 days of nationwide unrest, Tahrir Square in central Cairo was the scene of a massive street party.
Crowds in central Cairo reacted with celebration to Omar Suleiman's announcement of Hosni Mubarak's resignation.
Hours after longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak officially resigned, caving to protesters demands after 18 days of nationwide unrest, Tahrir Square in central Cairo was the scene of a massive street party.
Millions celebrate as Egyptian president cedes power to the army, ushering in a new era of optimism in the Arab world.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's biggest opposition group, said Egyptians had achieved the main goal of their popular uprising after President Hosni Mubarak resigned on Friday.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said it was the "greatest day" his life when Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down, handing power to the army.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters waved flags, cried, cheered and embraced in celebration on Friday when the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak was announced. "The people have brought down the regime," chanted the crowds in Tahrir Square.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters waved flags, cried, cheered and embraced in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, shouting "God is Great" when the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak was announced.
CAIRO -- Cries of "Egypt is free" rang out and fireworks lit up the sky as hundreds of thousands danced, wept and prayed in joyful pandemonium Friday after 18 days of peaceful pro-democracy protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to surrender power to the military, ending three decades of authoritarian rule.
Millions celebrate as Egyptian president cedes power to the army, ushering in a new era of optimism in the Arab world.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Egyptians all over the country of over 80 million people flooded the streets in celebration at the news that president for the past 30 years Hosni Mubarak had stepped down, witnesses said. Cairo, Alexandria and other cities were full of cars honking horns and people waving flags. Passersby congratulated one another and people shouted slogans such as "He is out and we are in!" and "The people have brought down the regime!"
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down, prompting celebrations throughout Cairo and Egypt: fireworks, chants, car horns, flags waving, cameras flashing and more. The heart of the movement, and protests the last 18 days, is Tahrir Square -- Liberation Square in English -- and you can watch live video from there below. Said CNN's Ben Wedeman around 7:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. Eastern time): "I think everyone in Egypt is either in or coming to #Tahrir."
CAIRO - The popular uprising in Egypt triumphed Friday as President Hosni Mubarak surrendered to the will of a leaderless revolution and stepped down after 30 years of autocratic rule over the Arab world's most populous nation.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Politician Ayman Nour, who came second to President Hosni Mubarak in the 2005 presidential election, said on Friday that the nation had been reborn and the army understood its mission to prepare for civilian rule.
Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim, who became one of the chief faces of the Egyptian revolution after he was released from a 12-day-long detention, praised CNN and the media in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on Friday.
egyptfacebook0209 afp I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg and thank him personally, Google exec tells CNNAccess to the Internet and specifically social networking site Facebook made a huge difference to Egyptians who succeeded on Friday in forcing former President Hosni Mubarak out of power. But how important was it? "First Tunisia, now Egypt," began CNN host Wolf Blitzer. "What's next?"
Peace be upon you. Thousands of congratulations to you. My name is Said, from Monsoura but I work in Saudi Arabia and God Willing will be coming back in 2 weeks. Thousands and thousands of congratulations. Congratulations to the people of Egypt. Congratulations to the Army who is always caring for us; I kiss everyone’s feet, soldiers and students, that stood in Tahrir Square to free us. I swear, God forgive him. God forgive Hosni Mubarak but please try and confiscate any of his money inside or outside before he leaves the country and charge all the corrupted individuals. Thank you from your brother.
CAIRO: One Egyptian kissed the ground. Another rolled in ecstasy in the grass outside a presidential palace. People wept, jumped, screamed and hugged each other with a shared joy they had never known. Cairo erupted in a cacophony of celebration: fireworks and car horns and gunshots in the air. President Hosni Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military Friday.
With Hosni Mubarak's departure, the age of political reason is returning to Egypt and the wider Arab world
Al Jazeera looks back at the 18-day-old revolution that remade Egypt and the wider Middle East.
More than 300 people were killed in a treacherous, 18-day journey toward ending Hosni Mubarak's 30-year autocratic rule.
"Ahram Online, the English-language arm of the state newspaper Al Ahram,reported on Friday that a former senior Egyptian intelligence official told the newspaper that "both of last night's addresses by Mubarak and Suleiman were in defiance of the armed forces." As we wait got the military authorities to issue a new statement, here is the Egyptian newspaper's fascinating report in full: Maj. Gen. Safwat El-Zayat, a former senior official of Egypt's General Intelligence and member of the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs, asserted, in an interview with Ahram Online, that the address delivered by President Mubarak last night was formulated against the wishes of the armed forces, and away from their oversight. He claimed that Vice Preisdent Omar Suleiman's address, which came on the heels of Mubarak's address, was equally in defiance of the armed forces and away from its oversight. Attributing this information to his own sources within the Egyptian military, Maj. Gen. El-Zayat said there was now a deep cleavage between the armed forces, represented in its Supreme Council, and the Presidential authority, represented in both President Mubarak and his Vice President, Omar Suleiman. According to El-Zayat, communiqué #2 issued this morning by the Supreme Armed Forces Council was not, as many people in Egypt and elsewhere understood it, an affirmation of the addresses of Mubarak and Suleiman, but rather an attempt to avoid an open conflict, while at the same time underlining that the army will act as guarantor for the transition to full democracy. He adivced that people should listen carefully to the anticipated communique #3.
JERUSALEM, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Hosni Mubarak had harsh words for the United States and what he described as its misguided quest for democracy in the Middle East in a telephone call with an Israeli lawmaker a day before he quit as Egypt's president. The legislator, former cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, said on Israel TV on Friday he came away from the 20-minute conversation on Thursday with the feeling the 82-year-old leader realised "it was the end of the Mubarak era".
Brief profiles of members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces as it assumes power from Hosni Mubarak.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Egypt's defence minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi is the head of the Higher Military Council that took control of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak resigned his post as president on Friday, a military source said.
CAIRO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Egypt's higher military council will sack the cabinet, suspend both houses of parliament and rule with the head of the supreme constitutional court, Al Arabiya television reported on Friday. The army statement was expected to be delivered later on Friday and followed President Hosni Mubarak's dramatic resignation after 30 years in power. (Writing by Edmund Blair)
After a week of crossed signals and strained conversations, the Obama administration finally had good news: Late Wednesday, CIA and Pentagon officials learned of the Egyptian military's plan to relieve President Hosni Mubarak of his primary powers immediately and end the unrest that had convulsed the country for more than two weeks.
EU foreign policy chief calls for formation of broad-based Egypt government; Germany's Merkel: We are all witness to an historic change.
ZURICH, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Switzerland has frozen assets that may belong to Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down as president of Egypt on Friday after 30 years of rule, the foreign ministry said. "I can confirm that Switzerland has frozen possible assets of the former Egyptian president with immediate effect," spokesman Lars Knuchel said soon after Mubarak bowed to 18 days of mass protests. "As a result of this measure any assets are frozen for three years." He did not say how much money was involved or where it was.
One of Egypt’s best known bloggers has just been released from jail after being secretly held for nearly a week. Kareem Amer and his friend, filmmaker Samir Eshra, were seized by a group of Mubarak supporters on February 7 and then handed over to the military. Amer and Eshra were held for nearly a week in a jail located in desert outside of Cairo. Joining us now is Dalia Ziada. She is a human rights activist and poet, and a friend of Amer.
Two men who were seriously wounded on the opening day of anti-government demonstrations in Cairo have told Amnesty International they believed the security forces' intention was to crush the protests from their onset. Two Egyptian protesters who were seriously wounded on the opening day of anti-government demonstrations in Cairo have told Amnesty International they believed the security forces' intention was to crush the protests from their onset.
(New York) - The resignation of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt shows the power of peaceful protesters who stand up to authoritarian rulers, Human Rights Watch said today.
Thousands of protesters have laid siege to the building housing Egypt's state television station in the capital, Cairo. The march to the station on Friday came as hundreds of thousands again turned out across the country to demand that Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, resign. Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from the scene of the siege in Cairo.
Alaa Abdel Fatah, a prominent activist, speaks to Al Jazeera from outside the state television building in Cairo where thousands of protesters gathered on Friday afternoon.
TUNIS, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Guests poured into the house of Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian vegetable seller whose suicide set off a chain reaction across the Arab world, to congratulate his family on Friday on the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Made on February 11, 2011, Ken O'Keefe pays tribute to the revolutionaries of Tunisia, Egypt, along with the global revolutionaries yet to be identified. "Governments should fear their people!"
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Dozens of Palestinians in Ramallah celebrated Friday after Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak stepped down. The demonstrators held signs reading "the people want an end to division." Palestinian officials Khalida Jarrar, Bassam As-Salhi, and Mustafa Barghouthi participated in the demonstrations. The demonstrators held Palestinian and Egyptian flags. One of the demonstrators told Ma’an: “We, the youth, can make change.”
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Hamas called Friday for the new Egyptian leadership to lift the siege of Gaza by opening the Rafah crossing. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhari said Mubarak’s departure was a victory for Egypt and had Hamas' full support. “Gaza’s joy is equal to the joy of Egypt with this victory because this man was a major factor in the Gaza siege and war”. Palestinians launched fireworks and celebrated in the streets in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere after the news of Mubarak's departure.
Reuters - Palestinians in Gaza let off fireworks and shot into the air to celebrate the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday, and the Islamist group Hamas called on Egypt's new rulers to change his policies.
Locals hit streets as jubilant parade held in Arab Israeli town to mark Mubarak ouster.
All is despair. At the end of last week, the IDF once again invaded the camp and in the dark of night whisked four young men from their beds. Nobody in the camp knew why this happened, or where the men were taken.
LEBANON'S Hezbollah has congratulated Egyptians on their "historic victory" after president Hosni Mubarak's ouster and invited its supporters to join in a mass celebration. Gunfire and fireworks already lit up the night skies of Beirut only minutes after the announcement in Cairo that Mubarak was toppled on the 18th day of mass protests against his regime. "Hezbollah congratulates the great people of Egypt on this historic and honourable victory which is a direct result of their pioneering revolution," the Iran-backed Shiite militant group.
BEIRUT, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese groups from all across the political spectrum on Friday saluted the Egyptian people after the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak following 18 days of popular protests. Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah congratulated the Egyptian people for what it described their "victory" against the Mubarak regime.
AMMAN, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Jordanian government on Friday said it respects the choice of the Egyptian people and stressed its support for Egypt. In a statement published by the state-run Petra news agency, Jordan's Foreign Ministry said the Arab kingdom is following up closely on the historic developments in Egypt, which represents a basic pillar for regional stability and main player in the Arab world.
AMMAN, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Jordanians on Friday gathered in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Amman, celebrating the stepping down of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The participants, including political activists and members of the country's trade unions, voiced their happiness over Mubarak's resignation, expressing support for the "brotherly" Egyptians who succeeded in toppling Mubarak and his regime.
DUBAI, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday expressed its support for Egypt, whose president stepped down as the Egyptian military took charge of the country, the state news agency WAM reported. "The UAE, which has closely monitored developments in Egypt, confirms its confidence in the ability of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in running the country's affairs in these delicate circumstances in such a way that would realize aspirations and hopes of the Egyptian people," the report said.
Celebrations have erupted across the Middle East after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation is met with joy in Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, the West Bank. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation is met with joy in Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, the West Bank. Ben Can any of the regimes still holding on to power and riches by way of their massive police apparatuses hope to avoid a similar fate?
Regional celebrations of the news from Egypt
Ikhras sends its heartfelt congratulations to the courageous Egyptian people on Mubarak’s resignation. The Egyptian revolt inspires people of conscience everywhere and presents valuable lessons on many levels. For Ikhras’ purposes, we would like to focus on one lesson in particular and send a message to House Arabs.
May the peace be with you. I am Yasser and I’m calling from the USA. I’m wondering… I’m not sure… I still am speechless, I’m so happy. Such strong emotions. A thousand well done to you Egypt. I have always known that this moment was going to become true. A thousand congratulations to you Egypt. May God protect you. Look after each others. Muslims and Christians. Do not let anyone make you turn against each others. People will try to do all sort of things in the coming period. Be careful. Do not let yourself be overcome by today’s joy. Don’t let them come between you with their nasty plans. Put your hands in each other’s hands and protect every square meter in Egypt. So many young have given away their lives for this revolution. From now on, we want to preserve every life, and we want to grow along with Egypt. We will take care of every penny and we will walk on this earth, among lovely flowers. The greatest people ever are Egypt’s. I feel so proud, so proud, so proud. I am wandering along the street in America, and I’m thinking to myself: I am Egyptian, I am Egyptian, I am Egyptian.
The international spotlight is currently on Egypt, after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of civilian protests against his 30-year rule.
President Obama's remarks on Egypt have been pushed back to 3 p.m. Meanwhile, here are some of the reactions pouring in from officials, lawmakers, and experts on today's resignation of (former) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Global leaders hail "historic change" and "victory" in Egypt, but Obama warns of difficult days ahead.
World leaders hailed the toppling of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak Friday as a historic victory for people power, with U.S. and European officials pledging assistance to help Egypt make the transition to democracy. U.S. President Barack Obama said Mubarak's resignation reflected the will of the Egyptian people and called on the country's powerful military.
Zvi Mazel, former ambassador to Cairo, says Israel facing 'hostile situation' following Mubarak's downfall. 'The army will rule Egypt for years. It's a whole new world, with no one left to lead the pragmatic states'.
As long the state of emergency in Egypt prevails, the military can manage affairs of state unfettered by any legal problem, dissolve parliament, call new elections and form a government far from being a civilian democracy.
Ripples of Tunisia and Egpyt
News of Egyptian president's departure spread rapidly through region, where other authoritarian rulers are in power
Thousands of secessionists protested in Yemen today in an example of how disparate movements across the Middle East are tapping the anti-regime fervor for their own disparate aims.
Officials have banned march in Algiers, setting the stage for possible clashes between police and demonstrators.
Algeria urged to allow peaceful protests. Amnesty International has urged the Algerian authorities not to use excessive force during protests planned for Februray 12. Amnesty International is urging the Algerian authorities not to crack down on planned nationwide anti-government protests tomorrow, amid reports demonstrations in the capital, Algiers, have been banned.
Jordanians living outside of Amman return to their homes feeling discouraged. They understand what they don't have. They continue to believe that where they are born defines who they are.
Opposition groups say thousands of police drafted in to surround capital a day ahead of planned pro-democracy protests.
I never thought I will live to see the day when a corrupt, incompetent, dictatorial, criminal Arab head of state will be forced out and chased out of power. I have to admit I never thought the Arabs have what it takes to go out in the millions and chase these criminal dictators and thieves out of power without firing a single bullet. Yet and within only about 30 days or so the people of Tunisia and the people of Egypt did it. They went out in the hundreds of thousands and in the millions forcing corrupt dictators out. Today more than ever I feel so very proud of yes, being an Arab. Now that the people of Tunisia and Egypt showed us the way, perhaps the Palestinian people can do it too and yes, why not?
In setting himself ablaze following a humiliating encounter with the police, the university-educated Tunisian vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi triggered a wave of protests across the Arab world.
Although not fully aware of the rosy glasses he wears, the runaway Israeli ambassador in Egypt is a hopeful man, about whose prophesies one can only say, "may they come true sooner in our times." This is from his rambling commentary on the downfall of his dear friend: As long as we had Mubarak, there was no void in our relations with the region. Now we're in big trouble...From a strategic point of view, Israel is now facing a hostile situation. It's over, there is no one left to lead the pragmatic, moderate state. ...The next stage is disbanding parliament, as the people won't accept a parliament based on fraud, and holding new elections. Naturally, the opposition will also want to run in these elections and will ask for a longer period of time to gain recognition. The Muslim Brotherhood will take action as well, of course...(Tantawi) is okay, but the strategic situation comprises forces we are unfamiliar with. The army will likely maintain the peace agreement, but there will be developments we cannot foresee at this time." (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4027283,00.html)
It has been a remarkable two-and-a-half weeks for Egypt - with developments coming thick and fast. Al Jazeera's Tarek Bazley takes a look back at the 18 days that shook the world.
A furious wave of protest swept Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak from power on Friday after 30 years of one-man rule, sparking jubilation on the streets and sending a warning to autocrats across the Arab world and beyond. Mubarak, the second Arab leader to be overthrown by a popular uprising in a month, handed power to the army after 18 days of relentless rallies against poverty, corruption and repression caused support from the armed forces to evaporate. Mubarak, 82, had flown with his family from Cairo to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, a ruling party official said. Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher takes a look now at how the day unfolded.
Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera correspondent in Cairo, gives his personal reaction to the Egyptian revolution and the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt's Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday, after 30 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. Mubarak, 82, had flown with his family from Cairo to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, a ruling party official said. Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher takes a look at how the former military man rose to power, and how it all began to slip away.
President Hosni Mubarak's decision to step down Friday after three decades in power presents the Obama administration with a political vacuum where a stalwart ally once stood, shaking up the Arab Middle East in ways that present as much peril as promise for U.S. interests in the region.
The former Egyptian president had ruled over the country since 1981, but resigned in February 2011 after mass uprising.
The embattled Egyptian president ended his presidency Friday as a symbol of what was wrong with Egypt: the repression, the corruption, the lost hopes of a swelling, impoverished class.
"As news of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation breaks, Democracy Now! broadcasts live reaction from Tahrir Square and beyond with Senior Producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Correspondent Anjali Kamat. "People are holding their hands up in victory," reports Kouddous. "This will be a day that no one will ever forget." We are also joined on the phone from Cairo by Egyptian activists Mona El Seif and Salma al-Tarzi, blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, feminist Nawal El Saadawi, acclaimed writer Ahdaf Soueif, and Egyptian Historian Khaled Fahmy who tells Amy Goodman, "I never really thought I would see this glorious moment in my lifetime." Mohamed Abdel Dayem with the Committee to Protect Journalists, discusses the new freedom of the press. We also hear from veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk and Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi about what is next for Egypt. "Many people in Washington would love a neoliberal future for Egypt," says Khalidi. "But the two things that are essential are Egypt’s geo-political alignment with this country and its acquiescence in Israeli regional domination."
See here for more images. What is there to say? The scoundrel is gone. Gaza will hopefully be open soon. Zvi Mazel know what's up: "As long as we had Mubarak, there was no void in our relations with the region. Now we're in big trouble...We may see a series of upheavals in the region now. Mubarak's downfall supports revolutionaries everywhere, from Yemen to Algeria. The question is whether such Middle East will be manageable. What if there are coups in Jordan, Morocco or Saudi Arabia? Only God knows who will take power." Yoel Marcus comments, "stabilizing the region, beginning with Egypt, is first and foremost in our interest." Good luck with that.
Everyone suddenly burst out inging.
Mubarak stepped down 18 days after a leaderless revolution emerged in Cairo to press for the end of the president's 30-year reign. Now the matter of leadership becomes much more pressing.
A generation's pent-up anger proved the president's downfall. The Egyptian leader's maneuverings as the protests swelled proved no match for youth-based dissent that spread to all corners. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak brushed off political enemies and crushed opposition voices for 30 years. But his network of oppression unraveled in a mere 18 days, the pent-up anger of a disillusioned younger generation exploding in protest, overwhelming the police state and forcing the military to push him aside.
(Tahrir Square, Cairo) - Last night we were expecting a momentous announcement. For the first time in two weeks Tahrir Square fell completely silent. But after such a build-up all we heard was that President Mubarak will delegate some of his powers. That is not enough.
Mubarak is gone. This is a great day. Let's celebrate. But the battle is not over yet. We got rid of Mubarak, and now we need to get rid of the Mubarak's regime. . . .
I find myself hoping that one of the results of this uprising will be solidarity between Egyptian Muslims and Egyptian Christians. There's already evidence and hope to that effect.
University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole and Georgetown Professor Samer Shehata examine the future of Egypt. Will the revolution succeed, or will the next government be another “Mubarak regime without Mubarak?” Cole spoke at Columbia University in New York City last night at an event titled "Egypt Arising." Samer Shehata joins us in Washington, D.C.
Massive demonstrations are being held in cities across Egypt, including Cairo, Mahalla, Tanta, Alexandria, Ismailia and Suez. In Cairo, protesters have expanded their rallies beyond Tahrir Square to several government buildings, including the presidential palace, the parliament and the offices of Egyptian state television. We get a live report from Cairo with Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Anjali Kamat. [includes rush transcript]
NEW YORK — The fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government Friday made for a giddy day of media coverage that combined the historical sweep of an event such as the fall of the Berlin Wall with the pandemonium of New Year's Eve in Times Square. "This is one of those days that all of us would say we'll never forget," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said, in words that were soon echoed in a mid-afternoon speech by President Barack Obama.
The fall of the Mubarak government was so abrupt that some newscasters seemed uncertain for a few seconds about what had just happened.
Husni Mubarak steps down as President of Egypt after a 30-year reign, and power is transferred to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. It appears that Omar Suleiman, the recently appointed Vice President, will have no role in the emerging political formula, but details have not yet surfaced. The implications are grand, for Egypt, and beyond. But the jubilation at this moment must be reserved for Egyptians who struggled for decades and brought the symbol of the Egyptian regime down in a matter of 18 days of protests around clock and country.
Never has a revolution that seemed so lacking in prospects gathered momentum so quickly and so unexpectedly. The Egyptian Revolution, starting on January 25, lacked leadership and possessed little organization; its defining events, on Friday, January 28, occurred on a day when all communication technologies, including all internet and phones, were barred; it took place in a large country known for sedate political life, a very long legacy of authoritarian continuity, and an enviable repressive apparatus consisting of more than 2 million members. But on that day, the regime of Hosni Mubarak, entrenched for 30 years and seemingly eternal, the only regime that the vast majority of the protesters had ever known, evaporated in one day.
". . . I’m making this video to give you one simply message: We want to go down to Tahrir Square on January 25. If we still have honor and want to live with dignity on this land, we have to go down on January 25. We’ll go down and demand our rights, our fundamental human rights...The entire government is corrupt—a corrupt president and a corrupt security force…If you stay home, you deserve what will happen to you…and you’ll be guilty, before your nation and your people…Go down to the street, send SMS’s, post it post it on the ‘net. Make people aware…you know your own social circle, your building, your family, your friends, tell them to come with us. Bring 5 people, or 10 people; if each of us manages to bring 5 or 10 people to Tahrir Square…talk to people and tell them, this is enough! It will make a difference, a big difference…never say there’s no hope…so long you come down with us, there will be hope…don’t think you can be safe any more! None of us are! Come down with us and demand your rights my rights, you family’ rights. I am going down on January 25th and I will say ‘no’ to corruption, ‘no’ to this regime."
The events of the past two weeks have shown beyond any doubt, that the American elite still view Arabs as an immature people who cannot be trusted with their own governance. In their frenzy to rescue what remained of the now defunct Egyptian regime, the Obama administration and the American media have forgone the tradition of feigning interest in a democratic Middle East. Hence, it is now safe to say that the masks have fallen.
The removal of Mubarak alone (and getting the bulk of his $40bn loot back for the national treasury), without any other reforms, would itself be experienced in the region and in Egypt as a huge political triumph. It will set new forces into motion. . . . The new wave of mass opposition has happened at a time where there are no radical nationalist parties in the Arab world, and this has dictated the tactics: huge assemblies in symbolic spaces posing an immediate challenge to authority -- as if to say, we are showing our strength, we don't want to test it because we neither organised for that nor are we prepared, but if you mow us down remember the world is watching. This dependence on global public opinion is moving, but is also a sign of weakness. Had Obama and the Pentagon ordered the Egyptian army to clear the square -- however high the cost -- the generals would probably have obeyed orders, but it would have been an extremely risky operation for them, if not for Obama.
Throughout yesterday messages were sent out from within the Egyptian regime to the effect that Husni Mubarak was about to resign. Millions went onto the night streets to celebrate the victory. Then, incredibly, Mubarak repeated his intention to stay. He lied about his contributions to Egyptian sovereignty and addressed the Egyptians as his children, to screams of derision. Despicable as he is, there was something of the tragic hero about him, tragic in the Greek or Shakespearean sense. The very traits which had thrust him to greatness – stubborness, brutishness, contempt for the people – were condemning him, with every word, to the most ignominious humiliation. He spoke from the gravel of his octogenarian throat, a man of the past adrift in a strange new world.
There have been many sacrifices, human, economic and social. But from this ordeal, Egypt was delivered, reborn and will hopefully emerge as a healthy nation with an awakened spirit.
Thirty years of dictatorship disappeared in 30 seconds. This was the time it took for Vice-President Omar Suleiman to announce that Hosni Mubarak had resigned as president of Egypt and that the armed forces council was taking over as head of state. After 18 continuous days of protest in which the occupants of Tahrir Square resisted everything the dying regime dared to throw at them – armed mobs, occasional gunfire, waves of arrest, the shutting down of the internet and the mobile phone network, a media crackdown – the voice of the Egyptian people had finally made itself heard.
BAGHDAD - From the halls of power across the Arab world came a stunned silence. In the living rooms of ordinary people watching history unfold live on television there was wonder, amazement and a renewed sense of hope and possibility.
Mohammad Hosni Mubarak, former Air Force General became president of Egypt after the assassination of President Mohammad Anwar Al Sadat by Muslim extremists on 6 October 1981, resigned from office today 2/11/2011 and assigned his presidential powers to a military council made of the leaders of the Egyptian military. President Mubarak, became the longest serving president of Egypt since Mohammad Ali Pasha, who ruled Egypt from 1805-1849. Mubarak’s rule, since he assumed power nearly 30 years ago, has been characterized by his authoritarian grip on power and his reliance on Emergency laws to govern Egypt and curtail civil liberties and personal freedoms. Under the “state of emergency” his government had absolute and uncontested powers.
Like millions of people around the world, I’m deeply inspired by the great victory that was won by the Egyptian people today, and deeply humbled by their magnificent power. Eighteen days, without a moment of respite, spent in the streets (not to mention the years of struggle by human rights and democracy activists against the regime that helped lay the groundwork for the latest protests) has made the impossible come true. “Look at the streets of Egypt tonight; this is what hope looks like,” as Ahdaf Soueif wrote a few hours ago.
All Egyptians must be allowed to participate in shaping their future. The pro-democracy protesters of Egypt have succeeded in ousting Mubarak, but the struggle is not over and there is a long way to go.
Now that the people of Egypt have successfully ended the Mubarak regime, I'm wondering if they are available for freelance work. For example, I am thinking of a nation whose capital is home to over 600,000 people, none of whom are represented by a voting member of their national legislature. It is a country where about 16 per cent of the population is given control over half the seats in the upper house of that legislature - and can effectively block what a majority of citizens want. (Actually, it's worse than that because a single legislator in that House can block legislation, and not even a majority can insist on a vote.)
Wael Ghonim, Google's marketing manager for the Middle East and North Africa, had been held captive by the Egyptian government for 12 days. Recently released, he has been doing interviews describing what's going on his country in which he describes it as an internet revolution, 'Revolution 2.0' is the name he has given it. Here's a 5-minute CNN interview with him, in which he comes across as insightful, articulate, and passionate to an inspiring degree.
Barak Obama is now making a statement in the aftermath of the victory of the Egyptian revolution. Why does he feel it is necessary for him to do so? The Egyptian people dont’ care what he has to say. One of the objectives of the revolutionaries is to break American hegemony over their country and remove Egypt from the orbit of American imperialism.
Thursday, February 10, was slated to be a day of preparation for the following day’s activities in Egypt. Friday was dubbed “Defiance Day,” in reference to the test of wills between the people and the beleaguered president. Despite seventeen days of massive demonstrations across the country, Hosni Mubarak remained defiant, still stubbornly refusing to submit to the will of the people, who were coming out by the millions to demand his ouster.
I have lived to witness and participate in the Egyptian Revolution from Jan 25, 2011 until the moment of writing this essay in the morning of Sunday, Feb 6, 2011. Millions of Egyptians, men and women, Muslims and Christians, from all doctrines and beliefs, are united against the current oppressive and corrupt regime, against its revered top pharaoh who “still holds on to his throne even if shedding his people’s blood”, against its corrupt government and the ruling party which hire mercenaries to kill the youths, against its cheating and fake parliament whose members represent illegal properties, women, drugs, and bribes, against its elites who are called ‘the educated elites’ who sold their conscience and pens , destroyed education, public and private morals and culture, and misled the public and individual opinion to gain temporary interests and ruling positions, be small or big ones.
"Just listen to that roar," urged a CNN correspondent in Egypt, as thousands of Egyptian protesters charged, fists pumped, against hundreds of armed Egyptian security forces. What a roar it was, indeed. The protests have shown the world that Arabs are capable of much more than merely being pitiable statistics of unemployment and illiteracy, or powerless subjects of 'moderate' but 'strong' leaders (an acronym for friendly dictators).
Volumes will be written about the affront which led the young Tunisian street vendor, Muhammad Bouazizi, to set himself on fire. And volumes will be written about the brutal beating, torture and death of the young Egyptian programmer, Khalid Sa’id, at the hands of police. Volumes will be written, because they inspired revolution.
"Leaderless revolutions,” as seen currently in North Africa, pose important challenges to outside media and to foreigners, generally, seeking authoritative voices to clarify the picture of fast-moving events. But genuine revolutions are made from below, with the myriad energies and objectives of hundreds of thousands or millions coalescing at least around certain fundamental demands. Time-constrained and impatient foreign journalists and audiences, dependent on fast analyses by the usual hierarchical menu of “experts” and political leaders, naturally resist an arduous process of grassroots inquiry.
This is how Husni Mubarak was able to sneak out of Cairo.
Please, please. Those who are entering through the Gaza tunnels, try to observe the newly-installed traffic lights to avoid traffic jams. We need to get organized.
Amer wrote this: "At this moment, Mubarak's hate must be focused on al-Jazeera more than anybody else. Amy Goodman could not have done a better job at rallying the masses. As I watched their coverage, I starting believing that they designed their headlines to irritate Mubarak personally. The schadenfruede after his fall was the cherry on the top, he must have smashed the TV set."
As-Safir reports that Walid Jumblat fired his gun in celebration of the fall of Mubarak. This is the same man who was aligned with W. Bush. I trust Walid Jumblat like George Habash trusted the lousy Yasir `Arafat.
Just think about the ramifications of the fall of Mubarak. The uprising has just finished today and yet Israel's options are very limited. Let me put it this way: it is not likely that the massacring Zionist state would be striking at Iran or Lebanon or Gaza or even my shoes (shoes are insulting in Arab culture, I read today in the LA Times).
So I tuned to the Egyptian state Nile channel. I can't believe it. What a difference a day makes. They were airing Al-Watan Al-Akhbar (the Greater Homeland), which was the Arab nationalist anthem during Nasser's days and which featured several Arab singers (the music is by Muhammad `Abd-al-Wahab). I was so surprised and delighted: I did tear up when `Abdul-Halim said:
وبفلسطين وجنوبنا الساهر, حنكمّل حريّاتك
(And in Palestine and in the alert South, we shall complete your freedoms).
This is big: very big. I was talking to a friend earlier: this is possibly the biggest strategic shift in the Middle East since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The beauty of it for dreamers (and its alarm for enemies like Israel) is that it is unpredictable. The biggest victory is that `Umar Sulaman is out of the picture now. Israel/US/Saudi Arabia were hoping that he would be the extension of Mubarak until some other clone of Mubarak is found. That was not meant to be. Don't get me wrong: US and Saudi Arabia will now rush with bags of gold and cash to influence all members of the military command council. The beauty of that is that there is no one person: it is a collective leadership (even if this rules for a transitional period) and the momentum of the Egyptian people will restrict their powers, notwithstanding wishes to the contrary by US/Israel/Saudi Arabia. One person in the council will emerge; we don't know who: and there will be leaks and back stabbing and plots and conspiracies. There will be chaos in Egypt: which is good. People will come from nowhere: don't memorize the news names of this developing news story: you will hear of new names soon. This is a big strategic development: if Tunisia affected Egypt: Egypt is destined to affect the entire region (unless you believe that the announcement of cash bonuses from the Bahraini King this morning was a pure act of charity. Israel is in deep trouble, as is the US; Egypt was an intelligence and sabotage center. The entire country and its dyamics are now unleashed on the word. There will be new ideas and new current and trends. Certainly, the freer the Arabs are, the more trouble for the US/Israel/Saudi Arabia. Read the statement of the Saudi foreign minister: he just yesterday remembered the justice of the Palestinian cause. There is panic in Arab ruling circles. I spoke to a dear Jordanian friend this morning: he was calling to congratulate me. I told him: I now think that I will finally see your farm in Jordan. Those who stood by the Egyptian uprising (the Arab people and Hizbullah--Hamas was too afraid to speak a word--and Aljazeera and Arab nationalists everywhere) will be in the good grace of the Egyptian uprising. And those who were opposed: the Wahhabi Arab liberals, Israel, House of Saud and its propaganda outlets will be in trouble. Let me put it this way: Saudi princes will not feel comfortable in returning to the brothels of Cairo anytime soon. The shock for Israel and US is double: not only is Mubarak gone, but so is Sulayman. The ouster of Sulayman ran against their scheme. I believe that Mubarak arranged for that (although the people insisted on it) to get back at the US. Leaving them to scramble. The good thing is that Minister of Defense Tantawi has the leadership skills of Joe (six pack) Biden. Stay tuned.
"By the way, for those keeping score in the "peacefully removing Arab dictators" game, it's now Obama 2, Bush 0. " You can't be serious, Marc. You have to be not serious here. If anyone wants to argue that Obama deserves credit for what happened in Egypt or in Tunisia, he/she either needs to rewind the TV screen, or take extensive Arabic lessons to follow the coverage of Aljazeera and the Arabic press directly, or even just read the official statements in English put out by White House and State Department during the crisis. If anything, Obama prolonged the ordeal of the Egyptian people and did everything in his power--just as Bush would have done--to keep the dictators in power.