Nonviolent revolution in Egypt - Mubarak steps down

02/11/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:


Nonviolent revolution in Egypt: President Hosni Mubarak stepped down today. It was announced by newly appointed vice president Omar Suleiman on State TV, and was translated on Al Jazeera English.

After 29 years in power, Mubarak handed control to the military. Crowds in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted in jubilation for minutes and minutes, which was captured on Al Jazeera English.

One opposition leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, told the Associated Press it is "the greatest day of my life …The country has been liberated after decades of repression."

Former WMNF reporter Aya Batrawy has been covering the pro-democracy uprising from the streets of Cairo during the last 18 days. She reports for Pacifica Radio’s Free Speech Radio News and German Press Agency.

One of the first U.S. Senators to call for Mubarak to step down, Florida Democrat Bill Nelson issued a statement, saying in part, “President Mubarak rightly honored the Egyptian people’s calls for freedom. All nations must now support an orderly, peaceful transition to democracy.” Vice President Joe Biden called Mubarak’s resignation a historic day for Egypt’s people.

People around the Arab world celebrated along with the people of Egypt. In the nearby Gaza Strip, WMNF reporter Pam Bailey tells us “The streets are mobbed [with people] waving Egyptian and Palestinian and Hamas flags...Happiness is overflowing. … Everyone is out in the streets honking their horns and celebrating!”

In Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, fireworks broke out after Suleiman’s announcement.

information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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