Stolid determination gave way to waves of elation on Friday as hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters drove Hosni Mubarak from power after rapping at the doors of his tottering 30-year regime.
Hundreds of thousands of worshippers had thronged Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 18-day revolt, where they called on the army to assist with Mubarak’s overthrow a day after he vowed to stay on until September.
“The greatest revolution of the world is unfolding here. The army must immediately take the decision to overthrow Mubarak, even by force,” Mohammed, 60, said as he stood next to the tanks guarding Egypt’s famed national museum.
Elsewhere in the crowd, a small girl sitting on her father’s soldiers led dozens of curious protesters in chants against Mubarak’s son Gamal, once seen as his likely successor: “Hey Gamal, tell your father the Egyptians hate him.”