Moral Low Ground


EGYPT IS FREE! Euphoria on the Nile as Hosni Mubarak Resigns

February 11, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Africa, Middle East, Protests with 2 Comments

Egyptians celebrate the ouster of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak in Cairo’s Tahrir Square (Photo: Jonathan Rashad)

Following 30 years of tyranny and 18 days of protests, the US-backed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has resigned. Most of Egypt’s 83 million people are celebrating wildly tonight following the announcement by Omar Suleiman, the country’s vice president that Mubarak has handed power over to the Egyptian military. Crazed celebrations broke out in every city and town across the nation, with revelers chanting “God is great!” and  “Egypt is free!”

How free remains to be seen; Mubarak handed over control to the higher council of the armed forces. Elections had already been scheduled for September, like all recent Egyptian elections, they would most likely have been farcical. Now Egyptians have a shot at real freedom. The armed forces have said they will respect the will of the people, and the people yearn for liberty. The military says that as soon as the crowds disperse and calm returns, they’ll end the state of emergency that’s been in effect for 30 years. The state of emergency, and the Mubarak regime, for that matter, have been around for as long as most Egyptians can remember. It’s all most of them have ever known. Now they’re heading into the unknown, but with an overwhelming feeling of euphoric optimism.

 But at this very moment, the Egyptian people aren’t thinking about the future. They’re too busy basking in this glorious moment, a moment many thought they would never live to see. Nearly 18 days of protests and demonstrations have paid off, with an oppressed people freeing themselves from tyranny. Dictators throughout the Middle East and across the globe will not sleep well tonight, for tomorrow it could be their turn to face the reckoning of people power.

It all started in Tunisia in December when an unemployed fruit vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, sparking protests that brought down that country’s relatively mild autocratic regime. The flames of discontent spread like wildfire to nearby countries, with Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and other countries showing signs that they too are fed up with their dictatorships. Will they be the next to revolt?

The United States will be keeping a very close eye on developments in Egypt. So will Israel. Not to mention all the other dictators in the region. Mubarak always said that if he resigned, chaos would engulf Egypt with dire consequences for the region. But the handover of power to the military was orderly, and the armed forces are strong and have the respect of the people. They’ve had more than two weeks to plan what they’d do in this scenario, one which certainly must have appeared like an inevitability at some point during the unrest. If they conduct themselves as peacefully and as professionally as they have thus far, Egyptians need not worry too much.

But right now there is no worrying in Tahrir Square and all across the capital Cairo, or on the Corniche in Alexandria, or in Suez– right now, it’s just euphoria and elation. Right now, it’s dancing in the streets and horns honking madly. Right now, Egypt is free. Long live free Egypt!

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  1. yaoi huntress earthFebruary 11, 2011 at 1:48 pmReply

    This is great to hear.

    • Moral Low GroundFebruary 11, 2011 at 2:31 pmReplyAuthor

      … and long overdue! Long live free Egypt!!!

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