02/12/2011, 00.00
EGYPT - ISLAM

First dawn after Mubarak: rebirth and domino effect

In Tahrir Square military and young volunteers clear up the barricades and waste. The Arab countries greet the "historic day" of Egypt, but fear a "domino effect". Gulf activists are preparing protests. China also fears the Egyptian example.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - The Egyptians are still celebrating after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak last night. Tens of thousands of young people are still in Tahrir Square and surrounding streets, with hoarse voices after a night of shouting and singing. The army has begun to clear the square of barricades and burned cars, while many young people and volunteers are sweeping waste from the area.

Enthusiasm abounds for this great "young people’s revolution ", as it has been christened by the major media in the country, although there are questions about what is expected from the future. The armed forces now have power in hand and promised to "not take the place of the legitimacy desired by the people," guaranteeing "free and transparent presidential elections and changes toward a more democratic constitution.

One demonstrator told AsiaNews: "It is pure joy. We are aware that in life there is no fate or destiny: history is in our hands. "

The international community has hailed the resignation of Mubarak, their old friend, as a "historic day". Many Islamic countries have hailed it "the dawn of a new Egypt”. But there are also concerns about a possible Egyptian "domino effect" on other Arab and non-Arab countries.

In recent weeks, riots have broken out in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Yemen, all of them motivated by unemployment, high prices, corruption, dictatorial powers.

Many Islamic countries fear that their people will follow the example of Egypt, the most populous Arab country. Activist groups in the Gulf are already planning demonstrations and are demanding the rulers of Bahrain, Emirates, Saudi Arabia not to block rallies. They call on them "understand that it is time to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and draft a constitution that meets the needs of modern times."

China is also among the countries who fear the example of Egypt. Throughout the18 days of protests in Tahrir Square, all information was strictly censored in China. A few days ago, in Guizhou, activists distributed leaflets with news about what happened in Cairo and were arrested by police.
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