Sarah Shams received a telephone call Friday morning from her best friend in Palestine who told her that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had resigned.
“I’m feeling awesome. I’m feeling ecstatic,” Shams said Friday afternoon at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview.
A day earlier, Shams was among a group who expressed their disappointment and disgust when Mubarak announced his intention to remain in office. Less than 24 hours later, they expressed feelings of joy and hope for their homeland.
“I think [Mubarak] realized he should leave in a dignified fashion,” said Shams, a junior at Benedictine University. “I want to say congratulations to Egypt. Egypt is no longer defined by sadness and poverty.”
Across the world, in Cairo, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians danced and prayed as fireworks lit up the sky after Mubarak ended three decades of authoritarian rule and surrendered his power to the military. People in Cairo cried out “Egypt is free.”
Egypt’s military pledged to help push reforms for democracy and said it would announce the next steps soon, which could include the dissolving of parliament and the creation of a new government.
“We are so happy,” said Sham’s mother, Ola Ezat, who moved to the United Stated when she was 19. “The people will have the right to vote. “I’m very happy, very happy.”
Mohamed Mohamed, an Egyptian native, said Mubarak decided to resign because “he saw himself losing support everywhere.”
“It’s definitely exciting. The [Egyptian youth] took a stand against all the odds,” Mohamed said.