Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate at Cairo's Tahrir Square after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11.
Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate at Cairo's Tahrir Square after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11. Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images
NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that when news that Hosni Mubarak had stepped down after 30 years in power Cairo quickly became euphoric. The scene, she said, was "absolutely amazing."
"People started running, hugging, waving flags. They started running toward Tahrir square," she reports. She heard shouts of, "To Tahrir," which has been the epicenter of this uprising.
She says the news spread quickly. She saw taxi drivers open their doors and turn on the radio. She says people got their news from cell phones too. But it didn't take long before the crowd noise became a "cacophony."
"It was almost like they didn't know what to do with themselves," she reports. "People were running up and down across the bridge. People were so happy," they were hugging others they didn't know.
Now, she says, comes the hard part. Lourdes, who has been covering the protests from the beginning, says she saw all kinds of Egyptians come together over the last few weeks. Now comes the hard part, she reports. This is when we might start seeing the fractures in a coalition that come together for one reason only: To see Mubarak out of power.
Update at 2:20 p.m. ET: NPR's Soraya Sarhadi Nelson, who was overlooking Tahrir Square from a balcony, says it feels like "Times Square during New Year's times ten."
The military, she reports, has removed the barricades from the square, so people are coming in and out. A lot of them, reports Soraya, have children on their shoulders.
Lourdes says that a lot of Egyptians are coming up to hug her, saying, "You are my sister. Welcome to free Egypt."
"There's such an air of excitement," she says. "They really do feel that they've managed to create a revolution."