For the first time in their history, the people of Egypt remove their ruler through peaceful protests that lasted for 18 days. Having used the term peaceful, around 350 died and more than 5,000 were injured as police used excessive force including tear gas bombs, rubber bullets and even live ammunition at many instances.
In a short televised address to the nation, Omar Suleiman, who was vice president for only a week and a half, announced that President Mubarak would step down, handing his authority to the army. The army had earlier announced that it supports and guarantees the demands and aspirations of the Egyptian people.
Barely before the statement was over, Egyptians took to the streets, waving Egyptian flags, cars blowing their horns, protesters jumping up and down in Tahrir Square, celebrating the achievements of the "revolution." The Egyptian people have made it. They challenged a formidable police state and a vicious security apparatus and came out victorious.
What comes next is crucial. Egyptians hope that the army will reiterate its commitment to giving the Egyptian people what they fought for, a civil state and democracy. Egyptians have asserted their power and the nature of the relationship between the people and the state will change forever. We hope that the army will learn from Mubarak's mistakes. Mubarak was consistently one week behind with his offers to the people. We hope the military will give the people exactly what they want -- dignity and self-rule.
Egyptians hope that the army will form a transition government of national unity and/or a presidential council of civilians and military people with a limited mandate and a clear timetable. The purpose of the transition is to draft a new constitution, amend political laws, dismantle the oppressive regime's arms and install new democratic institutions, where free and fair elections will mark successful completion of the transition and the revolution.
This is a historical moment. Egyptians, empowered by technology, Facebook, Twitter and mobile communication ended the 30-year-long regime of Mubarak in just 18 days! There have been many sacrifices, human, economic and social. But from this ordeal, Egypt was delivered, reborn and will hopefully emerge as a healthy nation with an awakened spirit.
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