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20-02-11 - Mubarak Stays, Egypt Erupts in Rage

20-02-11 - Mubarak Stays, Egypt Erupts in Rage

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Published by William J Greenberg
Egyptian leader disappointed and enraged pro-democracy protesters when he did not announce he
would quit as they hoped.
Egyptian leader disappointed and enraged pro-democracy protesters when he did not announce he
would quit as they hoped.

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Published by: William J Greenberg on Feb 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/11/2011

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Middle EastMubarak stays, Egypt erupts in rageEgyptian leader disappointed and enraged pro-democracy protesters when he did not announce hewould quit as they hoped.Last Modified: 10 Feb 2011 23:09 GMTProtesters in Cairo wave shoes in dismay as they learn that Mubarak would not be announcing hisresignation [Reuters]
 Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, provoked rage on the country's streets when, in an anticlimacticspeech, he said he would hand some powers to his deputy, but disappointed protesters who had beenexpecting him to announce his resignation altogether after more than two weeks of unrest."Leave! Leave!" chanted thousands who had gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Thursday in
 
anticipation that a televised speech would be the moment their demands for an end to Mubarak's 30 yearsof authoritarian, one-man rule were met.Instead, the 82-year-old former general portrayed himself as a patriot overseeing an orderly transitionuntil elections in September, when his current term ends.The hush that had swept over the crowd in Tahrir Square at the start of Mubarak's speech turned into anangry roar halfway through Mubarak's speech, as it became clear that the defiant president would not bestepping down.Al Jazeera's Aymen Mohyeldin, reporting from Cairo, said that the speech was received as "patronising"as he referred to Egyptians as his children, and he only re-enforced the idea that he is "entrenched in thenotion that he will hold on to power".Mubarak praised the young people who have stunned the Arab world with unprecedenteddemonstrations, offering constitutional change and a bigger role for vice-president Omar Suleiman.Rabab Al Mahdi, a professor at the American University in Cairo, told Al Jazeera that the "level of angerand frustration at the square is unprecedented"."This is putting us into a messy situation that can turn bloody at any moment," she said, adding that thefact that Mubarak "started a speech for more than 10 minutes, he was talking about himself - verynarcissistic, again, giving the message that he's still in control, and this, in and by itself, offendedpeople."
Feeling the pain
"I have felt all the pain you felt," said Mubarak, who last week had already pledged not to run again inSeptember."I will not go back on my response to your voice and your call."

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