|Joy in the streets of Cairo. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters waved flags, cried, cheered and embraced in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, shouting 'God is Great' when the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak was announced|
CAIRO erupted in loud cheers which could be heard for kilometres around reflecting the joy of Egyptians that long time President Hosni Mubarak has finally stepped down after 18 days of massive demonstrations.
“We won! This is such an epic moment for the great Egyptian people,” said Mohamed Faisal, a 25-year-old who is a member of the youth movement that mobilised the masses to Tahrir Square.
“It is such a comfort that the honourable Egyptian military is our caretaker.
“We trust them and we honour them. Now we are free, free of corruption, oppression and free to save our country.
“We are free to help build our country the way we see right.”
“This is a day that we will remember forever and it is just the beginning of a new era,” said Mohamed Faisal who has been campaiging for change for the last six years.
The streets of Cairo were jammed with thousands of people.
The celebration is a culmination of weeks of protest, frustration and hope.
People were waving the Egyptian flag, climbing to the top of monuments and cheering at the top of their voices.
The crowds also climbed up on tanks to cheer and celebrate with the army, which is well regarded by the people.
Egyptians hope there will be a short transition, with the powers being transferred to the caretaker government.
Meanwhile, wire news agency AP reported that Egyptians wept, jumped, screamed and hugged each other with a shared joy they had never known.
Cairo erupted in a cacophony of celebration: fireworks and car horns and gunshots in the air.
“The people have toppled the regime,” chanted protesters, whose 18 days of swelling protests tipped Egypt into a crisis that the autocratic government could not undo.
“This is the happiest day in my generation,” said Ali al-Tayab, a 24-year-old demonstrator who paid tribute to those who died in clashes with police and Mubarak supporters. “To the martyrs, this is your day.”
At a presidential palace in Cairo, where demonstrators had gathered in the thousands, people flashed the “V” for victory sign and shouted “Be happy, Egyptians, today is a feast” and “He stepped down”.
Many prayed and declared: “God is great.”
Crowds began to move toward Tahrir Square, the scene of massive protests against Mubarak that began on Jan 25.
“Finally, we are free,” said 60-year-old Safwan Abou Stat.
“From now on, anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great.”
In some neighbourhoods, women on balconies ululated with the joyous ululations used to mark weddings and births. Some also sang the national anthem.
Mohammed el-Masry, who marched to the presidential palace, said he had spent the past two weeks living in the protest encampment at Tahrir Square.
“We are going to Tahrir to celebrate,” he said, weeping with joy. “We made it.” - theStarOnline