Egyptians elated at Mubarak’s departure

2011-02-11 19:31

Cairo - Stolid determination gave way to waves of elation on Friday as hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters drove Hosni Mubarak from power after rapping at the doors of his tottering 30-year regime.

Hundreds of thousands of worshippers had thronged Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 18-day revolt, where they called on the army to assist with Mubarak's overthrow a day after he vowed to stay on until September.

"The greatest revolution of the world is unfolding here. The army must immediately take the decision to overthrow Mubarak, even by force," Mohammed, 60, said as he stood next to the tanks guarding Egypt's famed national museum.

Elsewhere in the crowd, a small girl sitting on her father's soldiers led dozens of curious protesters in chants against Mubarak's son Gamal, once seen as his likely successor: "Hey Gamal, tell your father the Egyptians hate him."

‘Leave, leave, leave’

Later, as the crowds held Friday Muslim prayers, a bearded sheikh addressed the army in his sermon, calling on it to "act in a way that will be acceptable to God on judgment day" before fainting in the balmy afternoon heat.

Several people squinted to hold back tears as they stood in the square with hands outstretched, the Qu’ranic verses echoing across the surrounding buildings as other fainters were carried through the crowd to a medics' station.

But as soon as the solemn service honouring the "martyrs" of the revolt came to an end the prayers turned to thunderous chants of "Leave, leave, leave!"

More than a million people marched to demand Mubarak's overthrow in cities across Egypt, and in Cairo the protesters in Tahrir marched to the presidential palace and the state television building under the gaze of troops and tanks.

Thousands of demonstrators who massed at Mubarak's heavily guarded residence seethed when an army colonel came out and announced that the military would support his stated plan of stepping down in September following reforms.

Triumphant scenes on television

As the crowds chanted slogans calling for Mubarak to leave the country, one protester snatched the microphone from the colonel's hand, saying: "You have disappointed us, all our hopes rested in you."

The scene was more triumphant at the state television headquarters on the east bank of the Nile, where protesters made their way through two army checkpoints and massed in front of a line of barbed wire.

"You are all liars!" they chanted at the soaring tower, which was surrounded by tanks and armoured personnel carriers with heavy guns mounted on them.

"Egyptian television is entirely corrupt and against the people," said Gamal Ibrahim, who had come with his wife and two children, one of whom sat on his shoulders.

"They have been saying we are terrorists, so we came here to speak to them ourselves," he said, referring to state TV's early efforts to dismiss the protests as the work of foreign provocateurs.

Clear demands

After a few hours the mood lightened along the sunny corniche, as soldiers walked up to the barbed wire and chatted with the protesters, everyone smiling and laughing.

But as news of Mubarak's departure spread, the protesters sharpened their demands, saying the entire regime had to go.

They spoke of the corruption they said was endemic to government ministries and Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP), demanding that officials be held accountable in court and stripped of their ill-gotten gains.

"Our demands are clear. We want the entire NDP to be dissolved and to leave, because they ruined the country," said Magdi Sabri, a smartly dressed doctor with the protesters at the television building.

A few minutes later the joyful chanting resumed with new lyrics: "Oh army, we are done! Hosni is not our president."

  • golanc2 - 2011-02-11 19:42

    its time for africa to take a look....kadafi is prepering the tent!!!this time for good...he can hide some of his billions in my garag.

  • Ernest - 2011-02-11 19:44

    who is next africa. time to act and be as strong as people from egypt

  • leerobbertse - 2011-02-11 19:45

    Egypt ...... twitter, face book, Sky news, BBC, or the people of Egypt, who toppled the government. who is the real winners here? did the money men taken over the government in the name of democracy, without a bullet or is it the will of the people. Hope it will be a better place for all the people who live there.

  • Perfume - 2011-02-11 20:03

    I love that Egyptians did not back down!!!!

  • waynet59 - 2011-02-11 20:26

    Now if only Zoomie could take a hint!

  • veld66 - 2011-02-11 20:27

    Egyptians are free 2nite after 30yrs of tyranny!1!! What about the Americans, British & French who supported him over those years! Those of you who want to know Algeria is next same conditions as those in Egypt & Tunisia watch out for Yemen , Jordan and Sudan.....

      Mxhuma - 2011-02-11 21:31

      Was this oppression about a man, Mubarak? Or could it be that they are dealing with a system that is part and parcel of Egyptian life - entrenched over many years. I really applaud the masses over there. They are going to wake up tomorrow without Mubarak as President. And Mubarak, for the 1st time in 30 years, is gonna wake up as ex-president.

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-11 22:55

      @veld66 Youa re conveniently forgetting that the USSR was supporting Egypt before the USA and the EU did. Youn also forget to mention the greatest dictator in the region: Khadaffi. Did you forget him because he is not supported by the USA and the EU? Jordan is ruled by a King by the way who is not hated by his people, the government though (ministers) are hated there. You are showing clear bias in your comments, is that because you are against the western world that has given so much to africa in the post colonial era? I am sure you would gladly hold out your hand for their aid if you could get access to it.

  • Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-11 20:56

    Stolid determination? Please explain. stol·id /'st?l?d/ [stol-id] –adjective not easily stirred or moved mentally; unemotional; impassive. Origin: 1590–1600; < Latin stolidus inert, dull, stupid Commonly Confused solid Please do not use words you are not sure of, it makes you look unprofessional.

      Mxhuma - 2011-02-11 21:25

      Very interesting homo sapiens!

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-11 21:36

      @Mxhuma: Glad you found it interesting. Just wonder why you used homo sapiens in that one sentence though. It served no function or apparent function as far as I can see. Unless it was meant as a slight at me. In that case it was a poor effort sir, you too belong to that group of mammals I presume.

  • SLAM - 2011-02-11 20:56

    The American greenback(inked paper)did not work this time.Eneough is eneough.The prayers of the Palestinian people finally answered.Watch out Zionist Israel there is a big hole in security.After all you only stole the poor peoples land.Goodbye Zionist Israel,Goodbye!

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-11 21:04

      Get real mate, this has nothing to do with the greenback, Palestine or Israel. The PEOPLE of Egypt finally wanted democracy, the right to determine their own future in a democratic way. That is what this was about and I wish them well and I say well done to them. Now they must determine their own future in their own way, without religious and political nutters to tell them what to do. And for your information: the greenback is stikk very much at work. The USA is heavily financing the egyptian military and they have not left, they are not the target of the unrest. And they will want to protect their military aid. Also the top of the army there is very much a friend to the USA, so I doubt they will now turn on them. And the last thing the region needs is another war with Israel. Go wear a suicide belt there if you wish to make war on them, leave the egyptians out of your fight. They don't want war, they want peace and prosperity like all normal people do.

  • Killian - 2011-02-11 21:42

    i hope the world especially the west and those dictator that think they hold sway of our destiny ,to the zimbabweans i say if the tunisians and egyptians can did it you can also did it to the remaining tyrants i say start the process of not giving power to hetchmen and kids but to the pipo to zambias rupiah bwezani banda if you rig the coming elections you will be digging your own grave and that of your younger twins yet to grow and wish if only you had not gotten out of retirement never be cheated by vj beware the aids of march ,museveni open your eyes ,shame on the cowards of ivory coast,today with tact zuma told mugabe that he must show leadership when he said of mubarack ,cry africa my beloved continent GOD is with you ALUTA CONTINUA

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-11 21:52

      Huh? Sorry mate, but that made no sense at all. As far as I can determine you are opposed to Mugabe and Gbagbo. The rest was lost on me.

      croix - 2011-02-12 09:54

      Very hard to make sense of your post, mate.

  • Shahied - 2011-02-11 22:00

    Congrats !!! you truly stood the test of time...May the ALLMIGHTY bless you for yor courageous stand against oppression and injustice !!

      CPII - 2011-02-11 22:21

      Har har...coming from the worst oppressors on the globe. What,what; if the infidels don't vote right you chop off their hands hmmmm ;)

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-11 22:35

      Yeah, CPII has a point. What did you have to say about the uprising in Iran when those bastards in power there killed indiscriminately those who protested against the obviously rigged elections?

      avniekerk123 - 2011-02-12 04:41

      Shahied is talking about Egypt and democracy.

  • CPII - 2011-02-11 22:11

    SO!.............Middle East conflict....America p-ed-off. Hhhmmmm....Armageddon maybe?! Some a$$wipe in good old RSA suggested that 21May2011 will be the end of the World....maybe he got it right he he he...

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-11 22:29

      Nah, USA are not pissed off, their main buddies are the generals who are in power now. It all depends who wins the elections in september. Allthough the army has very powerfull ties in the businesses and the whole economy as well, so I doubt there wil be a major shift in foreign policy. The egyptian army is receiving I believe 1,3 billion US dollar per year in military aid and they are not about to throw that away. In the old days the USSR would gladly pick up the slack if the USA walked out but these days that is not likely to happen.

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