Egypt’s Children

They are there by the thousands, the children of Egypt, a country with 2/3 of its population under 30 years of age. They have been born and raised entirely in the shadow of Mubarak’s regime. Huge numbers are illiterate and poverty-stricken. What they have developed in the past few weeks is hope, hope for a future without secret police, without tyranny, without fear. Today, they waited for hours in Liberation Square, singing and dancing and chanting, believing that when Mubarak spoke it would be to resign.

When he spoke it was to stunned silence, and then boos and then renewed chanting for him to leave, leave, leave. Mubarak came to power as a war hero, although I am unsure why, as both his wars were losses to the Israelis. He had until today, the support of the army, and the old generals. Today, he gave operational power to his  friend,  a man who had save his life, perhaps whom he trusted to do his bidding, another military man. The people in the square saw another old man.

Today also, a soldier in the square put down his rifle and joined the people. The rest of the military will have to choose whom to support: the old men in the palace, who rule like kings, or their brothers and cousins and sisters in the square. For the army is young too.