Egypt Revolts: Day Eighteen
Crawling Friday, February 11th, 2011, later turned into Resignation Friday (11.02.2011, yes that's how cool our revolution is).
I don't know where to start, should I start from the moment Omar Soliman announced Mubarak's resignation? Should I start from how my day started today? Should I start from the day the January 25th event was created? Should I start from the moment that I believed we can do it? Should I start from the moment Tunisians were able to overthrow Ben Ali? Should I start from the moment I started writing my Egypt: Now and Then series (that I never got to finish), wondering if Egyptians will ever revolt? I have no idea where to start, or how to start. But since today's post is the most important, and since I witnessed a lot more than some have, I'll try to keep this organized as possible.
I woke to find a protest by Maspero, another by the presidential palace, another in Tahrir, and another by the parliament. And this is only Cairo, there were huge protests in all cities all over Egypt again today. More military officers have joined the protests. And after yesterday's frustration and disappointment, everyone returned calm and optimistic again.
By midday, minutes before the Friday prayers, Mubarak's helicopters arrived at this house. His helicopters are different from any other, and they're always two. A while later, the army brought out communique number two. They said they support the eligible demands of the people and will make sure they're met, and they promised to end the state of emergency once the protests are over. Nobody understood why the army is making a statement though.
After the prayers, we decided to go to Tahrir, but then thought we'd take a look at the presidential palace protest first, we ended up staying there. Last time I saw Mirghany (two days ago), it was all closed with barbed wires and tanks, today half of it was opened. They had search points too and everything. The protest wasn't very big when we went there, that's why we felt obliged to stay. At first it was mostly the residents of Heliopolis and Nasr City, but still as serious as ever. At around the 3:00 pm the numbers have increased to around 10,000. Later, more protesters joined us from Tahrir and other places and were all welcomed with huge cheering and applause. The numbers might have reached 300,000 at around 5:00. Meanwhile, there was no place to set foot in all squares around Egypt. A little before 5:00, we saw Mubarak's helicopters leaving and everyone started booing then cheering, but who would've thought that this would be the last time we see these two helicopters. Minutes later, the solider at the tank rotated its barrels away from us, took a flag from one of the protesters and hung it on the tank. Again, everyone cheered, but no one really believed this is happening. Then there was an announcement that the army's spokesman will make an announcement in a few minutes, then it changed to someone from the presidency. At around 6:00, we decided to go have dinner then come back.
Then.... at 6:08.... Omar Soliman cam on TV, looking he's been hit by a truck.... and announced that Mubarak has resigned and the supreme council will operate. Just a moment after the speech has ended I could hear all the cheers coming from all around the place. I went right back down, In El Khalifa el Ma'amoon everyone was running everywhere, the street turned into a parking lot. People were laughing, dancing, shouting "we're liberated" at the top of their lungs. There was an army soldier standing, every person that passed by him gave him a hug and went on. People smiled at people they don't know, people congratulated everyone, paused to everyone's cameras. They talked to people they don't know. Egypt turned into one huge party celebrating freedom.
A great love has grown in my heart in the past two and a half weeks, a love that I have never experienced, a love that I shared with 85 million others. The love of Egypt, the love of freedom, the love of belonging, the love peacefulness, the love of power, the love of positivity, the love of change. I have found this love in fighting for what I believe in, in working so hard for a cause. I have found it in Tahrir and today I was sure that it will stay within me forever, it will always keep me working for the good of Egypt. I'll never forget how I felt today. I'll never forget the taste of success, the smell of freedom and the power of love.
People Ran to Tahrir, there was a freedom party that stayed all night. There was singing dancing, laughing, nothing felt like that before. Victory feels so good, celebrating something with 85 million is the best feeling in the world. Later, communique number three came out. They said that the army draws its legitimacy from the people and gave a salute to the martyrs. They made everything look even better. Meanwhile, people in Tahrir chanted: "lift your head up high, you're Egyptian" and that's exactly how things felt.