Babylon & Beyond

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EGYPT: Obama to speak on Mubarak's decision to step down

February 11, 2011 |  8:50 am

Protest5 President Barack Obama was notified of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to step down Friday morning and was closely watching developments in Egypt, officials told CNN.

Obama will make a statement about the situation in Egypt later Friday morning, the White House said.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square continued to celebrate, chanting, "The people have brought down the regime." One woman prayed in the street, using an Egyptian flag as a prayer rug, according to CNN.

Outside the presidential palace, an epicenter for protest Friday, demonstrators chanted, "I am Egyptian … proud to be Egyptian."

"Thank God, unfairness is gone and everything will turn better," Reda Alrouby, 37, a bakery store owner, told Reuters while standing amid the crowd outside the palace Friday. "And if not, we will go out and ask for more changes. Enough. We ended all unfairness."

Lawyer Sherif El Husseiny, 33, told Reuters he was "overwhelmed" by the announcement that Mubarak was leaving office.

"Nothing can ever stop the Egyptian people anymore," he said. "It's a new era for Egypt."

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske