With the news that Hosni Mubarak has resigned as President of Egypt, Laila Al-Arian — a Nation intern in 2006 and co-author of Collateral Damage, a Nation Books title — details the revolution from the streets of Cairo.
In her piece for The Nation, Laila Al-Arian, who now works as a writer and producer for Al Jazeera English, captures the disappointment and rage protestors felt when Hosni Mubarak did not resign during his speech on February 10, as many expected him to.
Enraged by Mubarak's refusal to leave, hundreds of thousands turned out again on Friday, filling not only Tahrir Square but marching on the presidential palace and the state media headquarters. By the end of the day, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced on state television that the president had resigned and handed over power to the army.
She then revisits what life was like on-the-ground in Egypt for these past few historic days.
“It’s like Hyde Park meets Woodstock,” one Egyptian-American who attended the demonstrations put it. In between the chants, many in the crowd whistled and clapped. “I can’t believe this is our country,” one man said, his voice filled with amazement. In a corner, a row of veiled women held an impromptu concert, singing: “We say no to injustice/We say no to oppression/Freedom will always be the essence of life."