Within mere hours of making a shocking public pronouncement of his intention to remain in office until the September elections, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak abruptly stepped down relinquishing the office that he had held for almost thirty years. The news spread through the country like wildfire and was met with cheers, fireworks and dancing in the streets.
Nowhere was the news met with more enthusiasm than in Cairo’s Liberation Square. Liberation Square had been ground zero for this revolution. It is here where protestors fought with pro-Mubarak forces, gangs, and police who attempted to break their will. None succeeded. For eighteen days they demonstrated peacefully and finally they have their victory and their freedom.
What Egypt will look like in the next few years is hard to say. There will no doubt be long and heated discussions of how to move Egypt forward. Some will want look back for answers. We are already hearing people asking “where is the money” meaning where did the vast sums of money derived from the operation of the Suez Canal go. Certainly it didn’t flow to the people and many will seek retribution from Mubarak and his functionaries.
Democracy is hard and difficult days lie ahead. But today is a day for celebration. The Egyptian people have the right to celebrate and feel proud of all that they have accomplished. Watching their efforts these eighteen days has been an exciting and inspiring experience.