Egypt's President Passes Power: South Dakotan Shares Story of Time in Egypt
February 10, 2011 5:48 PM
Egypt's President Hosni Muburak has announced he is transferring power to his vice president, but will not step down until after the elections this fall.
After 17 days of protests calling for his resignation, the speech left confusion about how much power he retains.
Even before the announcement was made, thousands packed into Cairo's Tahrir Square, celebrating the fact Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will no longer be in power.
South Dakotan Heather Mangan was in Egypt during the protests. She says in the beginning, she never imagined things would get this big.
“It was really incredible because we didn’t think it would amount to that much, we thought it would be just a couple days of protests, and to be a part of it, and I understand its a troubling time for Egypt,” said Heather Mangan.
Magnan was in Niger for several months working with the Peace Corps. After being evacuated because of political unrest there, she decided to travel to Egypt, where she says she learned a lot during those protests, things, that if she wasn't there, might have passed her by.
“It was interesting because you would watch the news and see all of these people that were really unhappy, then I would talk to Egyptians who really liked him, and they felt safe and secure with him, and they didn’t want him to go,” said Magnan.
Mangan says she definitely sees both sides, and with this news of Mubarak passing power, can anticipate both pros and cons for the Egyptian people.
“It was really interesting to see what the power of the people can do and to see the passion people had, whether it was for change or for the current administration. That was really inspiring, because I think sometimes as citizens we don’t feel we have a voice and Egypt has definitely proved that they do,” said Magnan.
And even if it wasn't the exact change many were hoping for...It is one step.
However, even though President Mubarak transferred authority to his Vice President, he vows to stay on as president until elections next fall.
“I’m into the story now. I'm part of because I was there I saw it, and Egyptians hold a piece of my heart right now,” said Magnan.
President Obama says America will continue to support a transition to democracy in Egypt.