After yesterday’s false start, today protesters in the streets of Egyptian cities finally got what they wanted: Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt for almost three decades, had stepped down from power. The moment that Mubarak’s resignation became known to the crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the focal point of the demonstrations for the past two-plus weeks, the collective thousands seemed to all let loose 30 years of fear, anxiety and repression with great, jubilant celebrations. What happens next remains very unclear: a military council, made up of generals from the Egyptian armed forces, was announced to have taken charge of the country but their intentions are unknown. Will the military hang onto power for itself, will a transformation of power to some kind of caretaker ruling structure begin, or will elections be held immediately? We go to the streets of Cairo to look for answers and to soak up the emotion of the electric atmosphere, as Egyptians celebrate their new-found, hopeful freedom.
Ashraf Khalil, senior reporter for Cairo newspaper Al Masry Al Youm; also reporter for Times of London & Foreign Policy magazine
Heba Morayef, researcher in Egypt for Human Rights Watch