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Mubarak Leaves, Fully
February 11, 2011

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In the wake of protests by hundreds of thousands of people, not only in Cairo but across the country, Hosni Mubarak has finally given up the one thing he held most dear: his presidency.

Army soldiers stood by as protesters marched on Mubarak's presidential palace, and the main protest in Cairo remained peaceful as Mubarak finally relented. The army appears to be in control of the country, as was the case yesterday, despite Mubarak's announcement in a nationwide address that he was transferring his presidential powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman. That wasn't enough for the people who had gathered in the streets of many cities for more than two weeks, demanding that their claims of oppression and starvation be not only heard but also addressed.
The response to Mubarak's clinging to his post Their response, however, was not violence but more nonviolence, as people poured into the streets to make sure that their faces were seen and their needs met.

The mood was jubilation in Tahrir Square, where the main protests had taken place; elsewhere in Cairo, as more and more people got the chance to criticize without being beaten or jailed; and across the country, where poverty is so often evident that concerns such as civil liberties often feature way down on the list of demands from people who can barely afford bread.

Mubarak, whom one newspaper had asserted had personal wealth numbering in the tens of billions of dollars, fled his presidential palace and his presidential post and took up new residence in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, hundreds of miles from Cairo.

Now ruling the country is the Armed Forces Supreme Council, which is made up of the army's highest ranking generals and headed by Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tanwawi. An announcement from that group is expected soon.

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