Egyptian President Mubarak Out; Cheers From Cairo To NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Many Egyptian-Americans in the Tri-State area let out a sigh of relief Friday. On the 18th day of uprisings in Cairo, the watching and waiting finally ended.

President Hosni Mubarak decided to resign and hand control over to the military a day after announcing that he would stay in office until the next elections in September.

Egyptian-born Mayor Samir Elbassiony of Washington Township with insight into the events and future of Egypt

Expanded Coverage from CBS News

A massive crowd in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

CBS 2’S Don Dahler on the historic shift in Egypt

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

Is the Egypt crisis impacting your life here? Sound off in our comments section below

On Steinway Street in Astoria’s Little Egypt, Thursday night’s disappointment and frowns turned into smiles and jubilation Friday. People stormed out of shops into the streets and began singing as drivers honked their horns and waved Egyptian flags as word spread that Mubarak was out.

“We feel very happy for all Egyptians,” one man said. “We all live in a free country, I want to see all the countries live like here in America. After 30 years, people they believe in change, so it’s time to change. Thank god for this change and I hope for the best for all Egyptians and for all people all over the world.”

The celebration was so proud and loud that police detoured traffic to give a happy crowd more room to cheer and chant.

“Freedom, freedom, freedom,” shouted one man from his car.

“Now we’re free. Free at last, free at last,” another man told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

Ayman El-Sawa came to Queens from Highlands, New Jersey. He said his heart was with friends and relatives some 6,000 miles away in Cairo.

“It’s the biggest day of freedom for everyone…biggest day for whole humanity,” he told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

Randa El-Gamal, 15, came to Queens from Egypt as a baby and visits the country of her birth once a year.

“We’re going to be the new generation growing up and we don’t want to live that way. We want democracy, we want our freedom and that’s what we’re fighting for and we got what we wanted,” she said.

Others expressed worry, but hope for a new government and a brighter future for Egypt and its people.

“It’s a first step for democracy,” Hani Agag said. “We’re looking for more steps.”

One man, who said he fled Egypt two decades ago, told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones it was now time to go home.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones amid the raucous celebration on Steinway Street

“I’m so happy, I’m so happy.  I’m not sleep from last night.  I’m waiting for this moment, everybody here [was] waiting for this moment,” he said.

There was also happiness and jubilation amongst Egyptian Americans Friday at the Altawheed Islamic Center in Jersey City.

“It’s an extraordinary feeling.  It’s been thirty years in the regime.  It was about time for [Mubarak] to get out.  People weren’t worried who’s going to come next, what’s going to come next — they just wanted him out,” one man at the center told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

1010 WINS Reporter Steve Sandberg with Egyptian-Americans who are celebrating

Others had a more guarded and cautious reaction to the news of Mubarak’s resignation.

“It’s not stable.  And at the same time, it’s not as bad as before.  The situation between Egypt and Israel — the contract of peace that’s between them, we don’t know what’s going to happen right now,” Moataz Abdel said.

Another man at the Alexandria Fish Market on West Side Avenue said he had hoped for a smoother transition.

WCBS 880’s Steve Scott with Quinnipiac University International Business Professor Mohammed Elahee, who lived in Cairo

“It’s total chaos and there’s no leaders — a country without a president that’s going to be led by the army people.  All my feeling now is worry about my country.  Like what going to come next,” he said.

Nevertheless, the news of change in Egypt was the main topic of discussion at the market.

“Mubarak is gone.  I feel good today,” one woman said.

“It’s a good time for every Egyptian…because Mubarak no more,” another man said, adding that the joy of the resignation went beyond Egypt and was being felt by “all Arab people.”

CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman in Little Egypt with reaction

WCBS 880 Reporter Kelly Waldron with Egyptian-Americans who applaud the change

President Barack Obama said the Egyptian military had served patriotically and responsibly and now must ensure a transition of power that is credible to the Egyptian people.

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer on how this could change politics in the Mideast

  • cygon

    Bush Doctrine at work. hope it does not turn into Carter’s Iran.



  • Jack

    Once they bring Sharia law, they will beg Murabek to come back. Mark my words. Democracy cannot come overnight. Half the population is illiterate and they will be taking advantage of by psychotic fanatics who will just put the blame on us and israel. Good Luck Fools.

    • niklu52

      The only fool is you Jack, half the population is not illiterate…Iran has to watch it’s ass now!

      • Roe

        Illiterate ???? you’re just IGNORANT

    • yes

      why nobody seems to care or maybe dont wanna know that the moslems killed more then 20 Christians and damaging the church not long ago???
      in iraq the Christian have to flee to save their life
      is the human rights only speaks out if its consider about the moslem ?? hahahaha

  • NYCR-N-R

    I guess bloomturd will let them smoke all the hashish they want on Stienway St.

  • Seymour Filaffel

    So now what? Bring Bush back and we can invade the place, perhaps Jupiter as well.

  • niklu52

    He’s lucky he left, I think they would have hanged him and dragged him through the streets.
    Now go after the $ he “borrowed” – Billions!

  • Alan Jackson

    The Bangles are working on a remix of their 1986 hit “Walk Like an Egyptian” in order to capitalize on this event. I wish I thought of that …

  • Jimmy D'Lox

    I smell chick peas – Ali Baba Ganoush

  • Junta

    They should consider bringing back the pharaohs to rule Egypt.

  • Gregg

    Now they should go after the $ billions he probably stole from the country ! He is one scary looking dude !

  • sceely

    now i can go on vacation!

  • Brett Favre

    He’ll be back, mark my words.

  • jerseyjoey

    Isreal Go BOOM

  • Boycotthesponsors

    Hopefully, WINS will allocate as much time to this story as it does to those incessant commercials (You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you five minutes of news).

    • KPMc

      They play eight minutes of commercials in a 30-minute block hence the 22 minutes of news. I figured that one out when I was nine years old. What’s the problem?

    • Michael H.

      Without the sponsors you wouldn’t have a news station at all. Quit your whining.

  • estrellita

    Congratulations to all the egyptians for the history victory…

  • Yeah Uh, huh

    I have a feeling the Obama administration will try to take credit for this….
    to think Wikileaks sparked the flame for all of this in Tunisia…

    • JS

      However, I am very proud in the way he handled the crisis. He walked a fine line and he did it extremely well. He stroke a very nice ballance between honoring an allied and supporting the aspirations of the people of Egypt, with out acting like a bully.

  • Ellen

    Good for Egypt great for the rest of us. I applaud the Egyptian people for the bravery they have shown the rest of the world in their quest for freedom and democracy.

  • Spence

    what a show of people’s power in Egypt, I am very happy for them for removing a tyrant. I hope the new leader is peaceful though and not military, I wonder who will be next to go in the World?

  • Change

    I didnt know when Obama talked about change he was talking about Egypt….

    • argyle

      Nah, he was actually referring to his boxer shorts …

  • Nick

    So when will the U.S. taxpayers fund Mubarak’s luxurious retirement in the U.S.? Like all dictators in the past who was “removed” with U.S. “help”?

    • Dclaw-1


      • Dclaw-1


      • Nick

        Dclaw is CBS, they censor long replies.

  • Brett Favre

    As Mubarak’s personal advisor I do not see what all of the hubbub is about.

  • DCLaw-1

    Imagine if these people were to take to the streets like this when there is a terrorist attack, or attempted attack. Were these moderate, peace lving Muslims to take to the street to protest extremist violence, how different the perception of the Muslim community would be……

    • Michael H.

      These people did take to the streets after Sept 11th. Vigils were held across the Muslim world in solidarity with those who died on 9/11. Some celebrated, most mourned. Many Muslims died on 9/11 as well, and I don’t mean the 19 on the planes.

      • abe

        Well said mjh

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