February 11th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

18 days of protest culminate in Mubarak's ouster

CNN Wire Staff

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down Friday and handed over power to the military, his nearly three decades of iron rule ended by a groundswell of popular protests that began January 25.

In a somber one-minute announcement on state television, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation and said the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will "run the affairs of the country."

As Suleiman spoke, deafening cheers erupted among tens of thousands of Egyptians who thronged the streets of Cairo. It was a moment they had sought throughout long, often tense days of demonstrations - some of them violent - that demanded Mubarak's departure.

It was also a moment that many in the Arab world's powerhouse nation had not dared contemplate.

Chants of "Egypt is free!" and "God is great!" rose from the crowds, dizzy in the honeymoon of their success. Some waved Egyptian flags; others honked horns; still others set off fireworks as they savored the scene.

Two major bridges over the Nile River resembled congested parking lots, and partiers packed streets throughout Cairo. The state-run Middle East News Agency said some people had passed out from joy and others had suffered heart attacks.

"It was a sense of liberation for me, for every Egyptian," said opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei. "For the first time, Egypt has a chance to be democratic, to be free, to have a sense of dignity, of freedom. So it's amazing. It's just like something we never experienced in our lifetime."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. floree

    Hi Anderson! greetings fron Toronto Canada" job well done" we were all with you in Eygept!now that the people are cleaning the streets would they be paid" seeing that they are so under paid? and will you go back there? if you do Jah's blessings to you.

    Good luck.

    February 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    You know I still can't believe all this. I want to see the official letter under Mubaraks signature and presidential seal or whatever. Otherwise he has just gone to Sharm-el-Sheik to be out of the public eye until Suleiman and the military council can restore " order" and maintain Marshall law with minimal concessions to the demonstrators.
    The demonstrators have to realise that they must keep up the pressure for:-
    1) The repeal of Marshall Law. That does not take 5/6months as has been said
    2) The Military accepting in future that it will report to and thru an elected government, and have no political authority.
    3) Allowing now the formation of political parties so they have time to form meet the people and explain thier policies and ensuring the Military coouncil sets up the system for free and secure voting.
    These three are far more difficult than getting Mubarak out if he is really out!!

    February 12, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  3. Mark Stein

    For the past few years, I believed that Anderson Cooper was one of the few real objective American journalist left. But in his coverage of the Egyptian revolution, he has become no more than the advocates we hear on FOX and MSNBC. Cooper's coverage is filled with emotion and obvious bias – not just reporting the news but becoming part of the revolution itself. We dont need Cooper calling Mubarak's supporters "thugs" and "henchman". If we get the accurate news, we can draw such conclusions ourselves if we think its warranted. I thought Cooper was a real old-fashioned solid newsman. Now I have my doubts

    February 11, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  4. Kyle

    The most remarkable thing about this uprising is that it was a relatively peaceful one and it was still successful.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  5. Liz

    Congratulations to the Egyptian people. Wish them a bright future. Looks like there is a domino effect in the region. Important demonstrations are expected in the Algerian capital tomorrow Saturday February 12th. Hope the media will be widely present to cover the event there too. This might prevent a possible bloodshed as the authorities there are getting ready with heavy police presence to prevent the protest.

    February 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    The sweet sounds of freedom....nothing like it. In a few hours it will be a new day in Egypt and the peaceful protesters still celebrating in Tahir Square will see the first sunrise of what will hopefully be many many years of freedom and a free government. I hope terrorists take note from these valiant protesters who stayed peaceful and accomplished so very much. Congrats to the people of Egypt!

    February 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm |

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