Free at Last

Millions of Egyptians around the globe are celebrating their new-found democratic hopes today, after a brief announcement by Egypt’s Vice President Omar Suleiman that the 29-year ruler Hosni Mubarak was stepping down, and that governmental control is to be temporarily transferred to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (which has pledged to “sponsor the legitimate demands of the people” and complete a “peaceful transfer of authority… towards a free democratic community.”)

The toppling of Mubarak’s dictatorial régime was lauded by governments and other organizations around the world. Speaking for the United States, President Obama announced “The people of Egypt have spoken; their voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same… but this is not the end of Egypt’s transition. It’s a beginning.” Jordan’s state news agency expressed “confidence in the ability of the Egyptian armed forces to shoulder its huge responsibilities” and “deep respect for the Egyptian army.” China simply stated “that the affairs of Egypt should be decided by itself independently without intervention from the outside.” President Nicolas Sarkozy of France praised the Egyptian “non-violent march to freedom,” while Iran’s Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili compared the revolution to that of his own country (the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which resulted in an unbroken period of fundamentalist, totalitarian rule.) Militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah “congratulate[d] the Egyptian people” and applauded their “steadfastness and unity.”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, a country widely seen as a successful Muslim democracy and a potential model for Egypt, expressed “hope that a system meeting the expectations of the Egyptian people will emerge,” stating that “the continuity of the Egyptian institutions is of crucial importance.”

It seems only Israel is uneasy about Egypt’s transition, fearing its only ally in the region could “go the direction of Iran” and “threaten all those surrounding it.”

What brings the most hope for the future is that the Egyptian people seem to have accomplished in eighteen charged days that which took France, America, and India years. #

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