Photos of the protests in Egypt have been on the cover of the New York Times for two weeks now— photos of people yelling, waving Egyptian flags, and marching. The story came to a head this weekend with the resignation of President Hosni Mubarek.
The story is buzzing with characters, and can be confusing. Many of those characters are part of the younger generation with an important stake in their future.
“I knew that they were protesting, but I don’t really know why,” one Wittenberg student said in Post 95.
Here’s a breakdown of the situation:
What went down:
After two weeks of protesting, and thousands of workers doing on strike across Egypt, President Hosni Mubarek resigned on Friday, Feb. 11, bringing his 30-year reign to an end.
Mubarek has been accused of corruption and neglecting infrastructure in Egypt over his three decades in power. He kept a state of emergency that began after the assassination of the last government let the government and extends the power of the police and lets the government detain prisoners without reason.
Activists looked to Wael Ghonim, a Google executive in Egypt, throughout the 18 days of protest. Ghonim tweeted regularly and social networks like Facebook and Twitter were how the protests were organized and coordinated.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a political group consisting of Muslims in Egypt that have long been in opposition to Mubarek.
How it started:
Protests began as a result of the successful protests in Tunisia, where the people overthrew a malevolent government.
Youth and University professors were among the first to crowd the famous now famous Tahir square. During the protests, one activist tweeted, saying, “It was the academics’ march that occupied Parliament street. University lecturers on the front line!”
Ghonim met with other lead activists and the military on Monday to determine the future of Egypt. According to the BBC.com, Ghonim said, “The army has stressed that it does not seek to rule Egypt and that a civil state is the only way forward.”
According to Reuters.com, the Higher Military Council plans to hold a referendum on constitutional amendments that could lead to democratic elections within 2 months.
Why you should care:
Mubarek was known for his allying himself with the United States. The government’s actions in the next few days will be crucial to maintain that connection after the upheaval of the largest Arab nation by population.
Already the United States government has been criticized. Mohamed ElBaradei, a diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner said the U.S was “losing credibility by the day” during the protests.
(Eric Werner / firstname.lastname@example.org)