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Events in Egypt

February 11, 2011

Since the middle of January, Egyptians have demonstrated for political change and, finally, successful brought the the regime of President Hosni Mubarak to an end. The timeline of an Arab revolution.

protests, Tahrir square
Egyptians have been calling for Mubarak's resignation for over two weeksImage: picture alliance/dpa

Early January, 2011

Inspired by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, activists in Egypt call upon the people to join in demonstrations. They want to protest against poverty, unemployment, and corruption - and against the 30 year reign of President Hosni Mubarak. An Egyptian attempts to set himself on fire before the parliament in Cairo.

January 25

The "Day of Rage." Thousands demonstrate in Cairo against the Mubarak regime. They march to the party headquarters of the ruling NDP, to the foreign ministry, and to the state broadcaster. The demonstrators become entangled in violent clashes with security forces; security forces deploy tear gas and water canons against the demonstrators. Demonstrations also occur in other Egyptian cities. The Interior Ministry reports that three demonstrators and one police officer died. Ministry officials accuse the banned Muslim Brotherhood for instigating the unrest.

January 26

The protests continue but the state rules with an iron fist: At least two people die. A spokesperson for US President Barack Obama warns the Egyptian government that it must recognize the universal rights of the demonstrators.

January 27

The stock market in Cairo plummets as protests continue. Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mohammed ElBaradei arrives in Cairo and declares that he is ready to lead the opposition through a transition of power. The social networks Twitter and Facebook, which the demonstrators used to organize protests, are blocked.

January 28

In expectation of massive protests in connection with Friday prayers, the government cuts Internet and mobile phone connections. ElBaradei is put under house arrest and the military enters the cities where they are greeted by cheering demonstrators.

January 29

Mubarak appoints a new government. For the first time in his 30 year reign, Mubarak names a vice president: Secret Police Chief Omar Suleiman. The demonstrators in Tahrir Square successfully defend themselves against attempts by the military to disperse them. In Berlin, the heads of government of Germany, England and France say they are deeply worried about the situation.

January 30

Plunderers, arsonists, and robbers terrorize the population. Prisoners break out of jail with help from the outside. Among the escapees are hardened criminals and Islamic extremists. The Muslim Brotherhood makes a statement for the first time demanding that Mubarak step down and a new national unity government be formed.

January 31

Mubarak rejects demands that he step down. At the same time, he orders his head of government, Ahmad Schafik, to introduce reforms. The demonstrators defy roadblocks and continue to occupy Tahrir Square. They call for a "March of a Million" and a general strike for the following the day. The television broadcaster Al-Jazeera announces massive disruptions to its coverage. Israel calls on the world to hold back on criticizing Mubarak and to ensure regional stability.

February 1

The "March of a Million" brings the power struggle to boiling point. Mubarak announces in a televised address to the nation that he will not run for another term as president. This concession does not satisfy the opposition. Around midnight, street battles erupt with Mubarak supporters.

Tahrir Square, protests
Tahrir Square has been the epicenter of the protestsImage: dapd

February 2

Mubarak supporters ride on camel and horseback into the crowd occupying Tahrir Square. Heavy street battles break out. The army, stationed on the square with tanks, stays out of the fighting. There are dead and hundreds of injured. During a telephone conversation, Barack Obama calls on Mubarak to begin the transition to democracy without delay. Internet access is restored.

February 3

In the early hours of the morning, the situation on Tahrir Square comes to a head. Shots are heard, Molotov cocktails and stones are thrown, cars burn.

February 4

Hundreds of thousands collect peacefully on Tahrir Square for the so-called "Day of Departure." The US government supposedly speaks with Egyptian government officals about an immediate resignation by Mubarak. The EU heads of state and government call for an immediate change of government

February 5

Thousands of demonstrators continue to occupy Tahrir Square peacefully. Reports tallying the number of dead vary. The United Nations reports 300 dead. High party functionaries resign. The rumor circulates that Mubarak could go to Germany for "medical treatment." Berlin later denies the rumor.

February 6

Banks open for the first time in days and traffic police patrol the streets of Cairo again.

February 7

Tahrir Square remains occupied by the demonstrators and develops into a tent city. The previously arrested activist Wael Ghonim, a Google manager, is let free. Many see him as a potential leader of the fractured opposition

February 8

The masses on Tahrir Square swell to the largest demonstration yet. The protests remain peaceful. The US increases pressure on Mubarak and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon pushes for a swift change.

February 9

The trade unions begin to participate in the protests. Strikes occur all over the country. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Ghiet warns in an interview that the army could intervene in order to protect the country against a seizure of power.

February 10

In a highly anticipated televised address, Mubarak declares he will delegate some powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman. Mubarak's expected resignation does not occur. However, Mubarak says he will not run in the elections planned for September. The demonstrators in Tahrir Square react with rage and disappoinment.

February 11

After demonstrators expand their protests to other parts of Cairo, large numbers of Mubarak opponents assemble in front of the presidential palace as well as the state television building. The army says it will guarantee free and fair elections and calls on the people to return to normalcy.

In the late afternoon, news reports say that Mubarak has left Cairo and is resigning his post.

Author: Matthias von Hein/ sk
Editor: Jennifer Abramsohn