Well. WE DID IT!!!!!! Today President Hosni Mubarak stepped down as the head of state! Barely 24 hours after he had vowed to stay in office until presidential elections in September the Vice-President Omar Suliman announced that the President had 'in light of current circumstances' handed over the running of the country to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
The response was immediate and electrifying.
Except maybe in my house. After hours spent watching Al-Jazeera Arabic my dad switched to the International channel then left the room. My brother got bored at the lack of developments and also walked away. So when history was made it was just my mum and I there. And we were only there because we were going to drink our tea!
I admit, what Suliman said didn't register straight away. It took a couple of seconds for my brain to process what I had just heard. Mum and I were looking at each other making sure we'd each come to the same conclusion, then she leapt up to get my brother. By the time he'd come back out, my friend had rang and we'd agreed to go back down to Tahrir Square to celebrate.
Like yesterday we took the Metro down to Tahrir. Oh but what a difference 24 hours can make! People were congratulating each other left, right and centre and everyone seemed to be smiling.
It took us a lot longer to even get to the entry to Tahrir tonight because of the crowds. The sheer number of people in the streets and on the bridges shouting, cheering, waving flags and singing was amazing, and that was before we even reached the hub of the revolution.
|Crowds on the bridge overlooking Ramses St.|
|Tanks along Ramses St.|
|The Lawyers Syndicate|
|Crowds outside the Lawyers Syndicate|
Unlike yesterday we did not have to show our IDs or be searched before we passed the barricades told us 'there's too many people and we're free now!'. The sounds in Tahrir were incredible, it hit you the closer you got to the centre (unfortunately we weren't able to get right there tonight, too many people) and it didn't once let up.
After Tahrir we headed back to the Metro to go to the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis. One of the Metro stations is called Mubarak Station (2 others are Sadat and Nasser) and last night people had crossed off his name and replace it with 'shuhad'aa' or Martyrs.
|The newly renamed station.|
|More impromptu renaming|
The Presidential Palace is only 10 minutes away from my house and the surrounding neighbourhood is as familiar to me as the back of my hand. I've never seen it look like it did tonight and I doubt I ever will again.
The noise, the sights and just the waves of sheer joy, relief and victory rolling off the people was indescribable. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so instead of trying to describe it, here are some pictures of last night.
February 11th 2011 Egypt Reborn