Egypt Square Euphoric Ahead of Mubarak Address

Thursday, 10 Feb 2011 02:42 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

CAIRO (AP) — The vast Cairo square at the epicenter of more than two weeks of protests was electric and on edge Thursday night, waiting for President Hosni Mubarak's expected televised address with euphoria.

"We're almost there!" chanted the crowds, swelling to their greatest numbers yet as reports emerged the longtime leader was poised to hand over power. "The people want the fall of the regime," they shouted, flashing V-for-victory signs.

But the celebrating in Tahrir Square was tempered with trepidation that behind the scenes the military might already have firmly stepped in and seized control of the country, simply ushering in a new authoritarian regime.

So many resolved to stay put, fearing it was too early to declare victory.

"I am not optimistic. I am afraid that people will feel triumph and leave the square while in fact we have handed power from Mubarak to the army into a military abyss," said Ahmed Abdel-Hamid, one of the young protesters.

Sheikh el-Sayyed Abdel-Rahman was more blunt, calling it a coup.

"They want to turn it from a revolution into a coup. We want a civilian state with no discrimination and no military," the 45-year-old painter said.

Organizers feared a departure by Mubarak might take the wind out of the movement's sails. A number of protesters acknowledged privately they wouldn't mind finally leaving the square and resuming their normal lives.

Most of the veterans of the demonstration that has riveted this country and already extracted a number of promises of reform from a seemingly invincible police state said they planned to stay until demands such as amending the constitution and dissolving parliament are met.

"Whatever they say, it doesn't mean we're going to pick up our tents and leave. We still have demands," said Magdy Mahmoud, a 37-year-old lawyer. "The will of the people must be realized."

There had already been plans for an even larger demonstration Friday, which a number of organizers said would be turned into a celebration if Mubarak steps down.

In the weeks of protest, the square has evolved into a multifaceted tent city complete with makeshift clinics, food stalls and numerous displays and dioramas celebrating the achievements of activists and the perfidy of the regime.

Across the square, impromptu leaders stood on banks of speakers and addressed the flag-waving crowd, whipping up their enthusiasm before the announcement.

Mustafa Ibrahim, a 30-year-old agricultural engineer, was under no illusions that their demands for real democracy would be fulfilled any time soon.

"We are anticipating now the difficult labor pains ahead of freedom," he said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Obama on Putin: 'Sometimes People Don't Always Act Rationally'

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 18:32 PM

President Barack Obama phoned Russia's Vladimir Putin to urge him to stop supporting separatists in Eastern Ukraine and  . . .

Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst: We Need Congress to Pass a Border Bill

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 17:55 PM

Texas is doing its part to help alleviate the migration crisis at its border with Mexico, and now it's time for Congress . . .

Obama Stands Behind Secretary Kerry and CIA's Brennan Amid Criticism

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 17:34 PM

Amid mounting criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry and CIA Director John Brennan, President Barack Obama used an i . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved