Today, Friday February 4th, is the “Day of Departure.” Hundreds of thousands of protestors of all ages, religion, and gender are chanting the national anthem and waving the Egyptian flag in Tahrir square. Young children carried on their father’s shoulder are chanting “down with Mubarak ”and in unison the crowd responds “down with Mubarak.” It is an overwhelming, and breadth-taking scene that’s giving us all goose pimples and brings tears to our eyes.
The strong presence of the Egyptian army in the Tahrir Square, which is inspecting people’s identity, is indeed preventing last Wednesday’s mayhem. The demonstration has been going for almost eight hours now and it is still quite peaceful. The spirit is very high. Egyptians have never been as united as they are today!
Prominent political figures have joined the demonstrators, such as Amr Moussa, chairman of the Arab League, Mohamed el Baradei, and Defense Minister Tantawi. In addition, there are many actors, writers, artists and of course the common man. The number has now exceeded 2 million people in the square. In Alexandria and many other Egyptian cities demonstrators are also calling for the resignation of Mubarak.
We think that President Mubarak will announce his resignation very soon and Vice President Omar Suleiman will assume the responsibilities of a transitional government. The major and most immediate task of the transitional government would be to dissolve the parliament, set a date for a free democratic election internationally supervised, the revision of the constitution especially article 76 and 77 pertinent to the election of a president. Furthermore, an investigation of individuals responsible for corruption, and abuse of public trust should be conducted.
This is the most successful revolt by a young generation in modern history. We have not seen such a movement anywhere in the world. It is unprecedented.
The repercussions of this movement will be felt all over the Arab world. The political Tsunami’s wind of change will blow away other authoritarian regimes in the Arab states. In Yemen there were protests demanding the resignation of President Ali Saleh. He has already publically declared that he will not seek another term after 2013. Mind you he has been in power for the past 32 years. Jordan has also been experiencing continuous protests demanding the dissolution of the cabinet. King Abdullah has already dissolved the Rifai cabinet and asked Marouf el Bakhit to form a new cabinet. Furthermore, Sudan is also experiencing protest movements led by university of students who are protesting the increasing cost of living, unemployment and corruption. They are calling for the resignation of president Omar el Bashir.
In the next few weeks there will be rapid political developments leading, hopefully, to a bright future for the young generation in the Arab world.
This post is a joint effort by Hani, Fakhouri and Aleya Rouchdy