By Adam Phillips
After two-and-a-half weeks of demonstrations demanding his ouster, President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt with an iron fist for more than three decades, resigned his post Friday. The move was met with celebration by most Egyptians – both within their country and abroad.
Many Egyptian-Americans live in Queens area of New York City. Moments after news reached the “Little Egypt” neighborhood that President Hosni Mubarak had resigned, a jubilant crowd poured out of a mosque and began happy cries of “Long Live Egypt” and “God is Great” while waving their homeland’s red white and black flag.
This middle-aged aged man was smiling and taking photos on his mobile phone. “I’m not Egyptian, but I’m glad that dictator will get [go] away. There are too many dictators in the Arab world. Next I think it’s Algeria.”
One young man saw Mubarak’s ouster as the culmination of events predicted by former U.S. President George W. Bush’s secretary of state.
“I am extremely happy about the change. This is the change back to the year Condoleezza Rice was talking about ‘the new face of the Middle East.’ Now we’ve create[d] that face. That face is created by the people.”
This mosque attendee was excited, yet cautious about how events will play out in his homeland over the coming days and months.
“I feel good, man. We were waiting for this day for Mubarak to leave and he left today so we are so happy. And I hope he is not going to be the only one that is going to leave because he is not the only one who controlled the country, you know what I mean?”
Political factions and divisions within the Egyptian-American community mirror those in the homeland, so it is too early to say about what sort of government will emerge from the current upheaval. However, at least for now, the diverse residents of New York’s Little Egypt neighborhood seem united on one idea: Hosni Mubarak had to go, and now he’s gone.