Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak has stepped down after 30 years of ruling Egypt and following 18 days of intense protests by Egyptians calling for his resignation. Before he left Cairo, he spoke to his people and gave the indication that he would not step down until September. However, his speech incited greater protests and eventually led to his departure.
Egyptian protesters were disappointed in Mubarak's remarks after it had been widely reported that the speech would announce his resignation. Instead, the speech offered protesters few concessions, with Mubarak saying he would cede power to his vice president Omar Suleiman, who many Egyptians felt was another symbol of a regime they wanted to overturn.
Now that Mubarak has stepped down, he has ceded power to the Egyptian army, which has so far sided with the protesters. It is very unclear who will eventually take over as Egypt's leader, but for the moment, celebrations are erupting across the country as protesters recognize their victory.
"What is absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold. It's a moment of transformation that's taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change. And they've turned out in extraordinary numbers representing all ages and all walks of life. America will continue to do everything that we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy in Egypt." - U.S. President Barack Obama
"We are here to express our solidarity with the youth and with the revolution of change. We ask Hosni Mubarak that, if he loves Egypt, he should leave and avoid the bloodshed of the youth." - Ali Abu Al-Ola, striking lawyer
1. Where is Egypt? What has been happening there for the past two weeks?
2. What is a regime?
3. What is democracy?
1. Why do you think Mubarak decided to step down the day after he gave a speech insisting that he wouldn't?
2. Do you think it's a good thing that Mubarak ceded control of Egypt to the military? Why or why not?
3. Name some other famous revolutions in history. How does this one compare?
Egypt's Uprising vs. Past Revolutions:
Egyptian Teen Reports on Political Movement: