An initial protest transformed into celebration Friday after former president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak resigned from office after 18 days of democratic demonstrations.
The ANSWER Coalition’s planned protest at UN Plaza Feb. 11 was made unnecessary after Mubarak announced an end to his 30-year term. Crowds chanted in Arabic as the tricolor Egyptian flag flourished as other danced and sang in the streets.
Omar Ali, 21, an SF State student from Egypt, was thrilled to hear the news.
“I learned about it first thing in the morning,” said ANSWER member Ali. “It’s good to wake up to such good news.”
Since the historic protest began Jan. 25, more than one million demonstrators have filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Pressure amounted from the massive protests as well as from international leaders.
“For 18 days people were on the streets 24/7,” said 21-year-old SF State senior Sherif Hashem. “They were sleeping on the square, demanding the president to step down and they succeeded.”
Many have symbolized Egypt’s victory as a success story in the universal struggle for democracy.
“I am celebrating their victory as well as the victory in Tunisia,” said SF State alumnus Lara Kinswani. “Hopefully the victory of all the Arab people and anti-dictatorship in all the world.”
All eyes are now on Egypt as the nation will attempt to implement a free and fair election in September.
Ali, who is also a member of Act Now to Stop War, is optimistic concerning the future of Egypt.
“People are happy, people are looking at the future,” Ali said. “The Egyptian people overthrew the Egyptian government and are now looking for a new democratic front.”