“I’ve never seen men so angry, yet so happy to be expressing their anger,” Courtney Graves, an American living in Giza told the BBC, describing what she witnessed in Tahrir square in Cairo today. “I walked next to girls in hijabs screaming for the downfall of Hosni Mubarak. I walked behind men begging God for freedom.” At least three people died in clashes between police and demonstrators.
In Hillary Clinton’s assessment, “the Egyptian Government is stable,” although Gamal Mubarak, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s son who is widely tipped as his successor, has fled to London with his family, Arabic website Akhbar al-Arab said on Tuesday.
The Mubarak regime is clearly rattled and has blocked Twitter.
Christian Science Monitor reports:
A popular uprising in Tunisia may have just pushed out President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, but Egypt — the Arab world’s largest country with a vast security establishment — is something else again.
But activists, political analysts and average people in Egypt insist that something crucial shifted for Egypt today. Egyptian political scientist Mustapha Kamel Al Sayyid predicts that now the dam has broken, protests will continue. “the reservoir of discontent is huge,” he says. He adds it is much too soon to talk about a revolution in Egypt, where several factors would make a Tunisia-style toppling of Mubarak much more difficult.
Though both nations suffer from high unemployment and a have a large youth population, Egypt has a much smaller middle class than Tunisia. The regime’s power is not only concentrated in the security forces, as Tunisia’s was, but also in the Army. Tunisia’s military is credited with helping to bring about Ben Ali’s demise, while Egypt’s military is loyal to Mubarak, he says.
And while the corruption of Tunisia’s ruling family was a rallying point for protesters, corruption in Egypt extends further, meaning a widespread base of people who would have much to lose from the fall of the regime. Yet Egyptians have hope.
“All this is happening because we are not afraid,” said Shaimaa Morsy Awad, a young woman who held aloft an Egyptian flag during the protest. “Every day more people will join us. We are still weak, and there’s a lot of work we have to do. But there’s a revolution coming.”