Mubarak Steps Down: 18 Days of Egyptian Protests January 25-February 11, 2011

Hundreds of thousands danced, wept and prayed in joyful pandemonium Friday after 18 days of peaceful pro-democracy protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to surrender power to the military, ending three decades of authoritarian rule.

On January 25th 2011, widespread protests began against Mubarak’s regime. These took the form of an intensive campaign of civil resistance supported by very large numbers of people and mainly consisting of continuous mass demonstrations. By January 29th it was becoming clear that Mubarak’s regime had lost control when a curfew order was ignored, and the army took a semi-neutral stance on enforcing the curfew decree. Some protesters, a very small minority in Cairo, expressed nationalistic views against what they deemed was foreign interference. Those critics held the view that the U.S. administration had failed to take sides. The critics also considered the Mubarak regime as friendly with with Israel.

On February 11th 2011, Mubarak resigned and fled Cairo. Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had stepped down and that the Egyptian military would assume control of the nation’s affairs in the short term. Jubilant celebrations broke out in Tahrir Square at the news with large crowds chanting ‘Allah Akbar’. Mubarak may have left Cairo for Sharm el-Sheikh the previous night, before or shortly after the airing of a taped speech in which Mubarak vowed he would not step down or leave.