On February 11, 2011, at 6:00 p.m., it was announced that Egypt’s president of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, had vacated his position. At that moment tens of thousands of Egyptians were gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, participating in the 18th day of protest demanding political change in Egypt. Many demonstrators had come prepared to die rather than back down from their demands. The announcement of Mubarak’s resignation evoked a thunderous roar that reverberated out from Tahrir, and was so loud a child might have imagined the noise reaching the moon.
There is a particular kind of joy when, having thought earlier in the day that you might soon be gravely injured or irrevocably dead, an announcement over state television lifts that worry away, straight into the heavens. There is similarly a joy when, having found your political voice and brought that voice into the central square together with your neighbors and fellow countrymen, you effect change. The future seems as limitless as the night sky. You feel life, and you feel hope. It demands celebration.
The following photographs were taken in the minutes and hours that followed the announcement of Mubarak’s resignation. So much was memorable about that night. For a photographer one of those things was how everyone, and I mean everyone — male and female, young and old — was happy to be photographed.
The future would prove tough and tumultuous for Egypt. But for now, on this night, there was celebration.