Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday February 12, 2011
Egyptian protesters rejoice at Mubarak’s ouster
Cairo’s Tahrir Square has erupted in an impromptu cacophony of cheering and fireworks as Egyptians celebrate the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak after a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations.
Several hundred thousand protesters packed into the central square screamed for joy Friday, waving Egyptian flags, blowing car horns, jumping up and down and chanting slogans such as: “Egypt is free,” “God is great,” “The people have brought down the regime.”
“It’s absolutely incredible … for 18 days these protesters have been involved effectively in an uprising that has turned into a revolution. A stunning development, particularly in this part of the world. Sober thought about what it all means comes tomorrow. A lot of fireworks, people dancing with fireworks, big spotlights being used on the crowd … it’s turned very much into a party atmosphere. And still, thousands of people are pouring into Tahrir Square trying to grab on to this piece of history.”
Egyptians wept and hugged each other. Others clambered on the tanks that have surrounded Tahrir Square.
After 29 years in power, Mubarak reluctantly resigned and handed over power to the military.
The terse announcement was made live on state TV by a grim Vice-President Omar Suleiman at about 6 p.m. local time Friday.
“In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country,” Suleiman said in a five-minute address translated into English. “May God help everybody. (CBC)