OBSERVATIONS FROM IRAQ, IRAN,
ISRAEL, THE ARAB WORLD AND BEYOND
February 13, 2011 | 6:42 am
Egypt's military dissolved the country's parliament and suspended the constitution, saying it will rule for six months or until presidential and parliamentary elections are held, according to a statement by the military council read on state TV Sunday.
The move, which comes two days after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, meets some of the demands of the anti-government protesters who demonstrated against Mubarak and the parliament and demanded constitutional reforms.
February 12, 2011 | 1:11 pm
This party may go on for a while.
The day after Egyptians celebrated their president’s departure, Tahrir Square still looked like New Year’s Eve, a World Cup Final and the end of Ramadan all rolled into one. Music blared from rooftops, people danced on ledges, babies showed off their painted faces, boys struck poses on top of army tanks, horse-and-buggy rides were offered, old men roasted sweet potatoes and ears of corn, others hawked tea and popcorn, and young men donned clown wigs.
Amid the surging crowds, hundreds of men and women, both young and old, took to repairing the damage that 18 days of protests had inflicted on Cairo’s most famous square. Some painted median strips; others hauled rocks and replaced the ones that had been ripped up for ammo while battling the pro-Mubarak thugs. It was fun to see the Facebook crowd in hip jeans and button-down shirts sweeping diligently into dustpans, perhaps the first time they had ever touched a broom. The attention to the trash was an inspired move for the newly free Egyptians, given that its removal never seemed high on the government’s to-do list.
February 12, 2011 | 6:43 am Algerian police cracked down on demonstrators at a banned Egypt-inspired anti-government march Saturday in the Algerian capital, clashing with protesters and arresting rally-goers, media reports said.
According to Algerian human rights activist Mustapha Bouchachi, Algerian security forces detained 100 demonstrators at the march, which had been called by the National Coordination for Change and Democracy (CNCD), an umbrella group of opposition parties and civil society movements.
February 11, 2011 | 3:48 pm
Lebanese and Egyptians have been celebrating together in front of the Egyptian embassy in Beirut, according to the Al Jazeera network.
— Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: In Beirut, Egyptian expats carry their national flag and a picture of late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser as people set off fireworks in celebrations outside the Egyptian Embassy on Friday. Credit: Nabil Mounzer/EPA
February 11, 2011 | 3:18 pm
Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has become an active Twitter user.
Early Saturday, the Nobel laureate and former head of the United Nations Atomic Energy Agency tweeted
in English and Arabic in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak's resignation: "Egypt Today is a free and proud nation. God bless."
ElBaradei has more than 60,000 followers on Twitter and is following 35, according to the website, which says his account is verified. He has posted 259 tweets since March.
ElBaradei also spoke with the satellite network Al Jazeera by telephone Friday, calling Mubarak's resignation a "dream come true" for the Egyptian people.
— Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: Egyptian pro-democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei, former chief of the UN nuclear watchdog agency and Egypt's reformist leader, speaks during a press conference in Cairo Feb. 4. Credit: Amr Nabil/Associated Press
February 11, 2011 | 2:49 pm
Al Jazeera posted a written statement Friday from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concerning the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"We hope The Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will adopt a common sense approach and under this new administration organize free and fair elections," Erdogan's statement said. "It should hand over power in as short a time frame as possible. Since the beginning of the mass protests in Egypt, Turkey has supported the legitimate demands of our brother Egyptians for democracy and freedom. The country should now move peacefully towards a new order that is pluralist, representative, and upholds human rights."
— Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with a military guard in the background, welcomes Crown Prince of Bahrain Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa before their meeting in Ankara on Tuesday. Credit: Reuters
February 11, 2011 | 2:38 pm
Among the most popular Twitter posts worldwide on Friday: "Congrats Egypt."
It was also among the most popular in the United States, Canada, France, Indonesia and Venezuela.
Cities where it was among the most popular Twitter posts included Los Angeles, San Francisco and London.
Other popular related posts included "egypt" in Italy and "mubarak" in Indonesia, Rio de Janeiro, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle.
"Dear friends on Twitter," tweeter the Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey
, "Your support carried us through some of our darkest nights. THANK YOU!"
According to Topsy
, which bills itself as the largest index of Twitter content in the world, there were 33,000 Egypt-related tweets in the past hour, 2 million during the past day and 6 million so far this week.
February 11, 2011 | 1:55 pm Activist and blogger Ramy Raoof posted this photo of a protest sign earlier in the day Friday.
Blogger Zeinobia, having just returned to Cairo, posted this video
of people celebrating in the streets with honking horns and shots fired into the air.
Also, cyber activists are urging each other via tweets
to help clean up Cairo's Tahrir Square, starting Saturday.
"We need to clean the garbage and leave the memorial parts... not to leave unclean things after us." tweeted
"It is our duty," tweeted
Google staffer and protest leader Wael Ghonim.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske
February 11, 2011 | 1:25 pm
Following the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday, a spokesman for the opposition in Yemen called for similar change there.
"Mubarak's fall proves that oppression and use of force can not add life to the current regimes," said Mohammed Al-Qubati, a spokesman for Yemen's largest opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Parties, on CNN. The "time for change has come."
February 11, 2011 | 1:15 pm
Amr Moussa will resign from his post as secretary-general of the Arab League, Egypt's state-run Nile TV reported Friday.
Earlier in the day, Moussa told CNN that Egyptians are "looking forward to a different future" and are hoping for "a better future."
Nile TV also reported that Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said that the Suez Canal has been operating normally despite the political turmoil.
— Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: Arab League chief Amr Moussa at a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 26. Credit: Vincent Kessler/Reuters
February 11, 2011 | 1:06 pm
Egyptian expatriates joined their countrymen celebrating the fall of President Hosni Mubarak on Friday.
In London's upscale Mayfair neighborhood, about 200 people celebrated Mubarak's departure outside the Egyptian Embassy, where they beat drums, danced the conga, hugged and chanted ”Bye bye, Mubarak” before marching through the streets, Reuters reported.
"This is the beginning of a new chapter for Egypt, for human rights, for democracy, and dignity in Egypt and the Middle East," 30-year-old student Basim al-Bahalwan told Reuters.
Egyptian barber Mohammed Zayed, 28, told Reuters that Egyptians were the happiest people in the world. "Our dignity has returned now this dog has gone."
February 11, 2011 | 12:35 pm
Watch a White House news conference streaming live with updates also posted on Twitter
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