Newswise — Assistant Professor of Communication Sahar Khamis comments on today's announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down after 30 years in power. Please feel free to contact her directly. All our Egypt/Middle East Experts can be found at:

"I have never felt more proud to be an Egyptian. This is not just my own reaction or my own words. These are the words of every Egyptian today, especially the heroic and courageous men and women, who took out to the streets of Cairo signaling the birth of this great popular uprising on January, 25th.

Right after President Mubarak’s disappointing speech yesterday, it was very clear to me, especially after talking to my own family back in Egypt, that today, Friday, Feb. 11th, 2011, will be the decisive day in Egypt’s struggle for freedom, dignity and democracy. Mr. Mubarak’s speech yesterday clearly disregarded the Egyptian people’s will and their overwhelmingly expressed and outspoken demand for his departure and the eradication of his entire regime. This signaled a dangerous divide and an alarming disconnect between him and his people. This disconnect has been obvious throughout Mr. Mubarak’s series of reactions from the very beginning of the uprising, as he always gave his people “too little; too late”. This only fueled people’s anger, resentment and commitment to insist on their demands.

This commitment turned into unbending defiance and outright challenge yesterday amid people’s fury and outrage, which led to their march to the presidential palace, the people’s assembly, and the Egyptian radio and television building in the thousands.

Egypt is clearly witnessing the birth of a new dawn of democratic reform. A new chapter in its modern history is written by its own young men and women, who triggered this amazingly peaceful and civil popular uprising through their own facebook pages, tweets, blogs and texting. They have already signaled the beginning of a new era, where the people’s will not the dictator’s will dictate Egypt’s future."

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