February 11th, 2011
06:54 PM ET

Mubarak Steps Down: What Next for Egypt?

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Here in Hong Kong it’s after 2 am. Even on one of my wilder Friday nights, I’d normally be tucked up in bed by now. But I’m finding it almost impossible to tear my eyes away from the scenes on the streets of Cairo. Egypt’s future is far from secure. But its present is rapturous, unbridled and – ultimately – momentous. No Friday night I have ever experienced equals that which Egyptians are experiencing now.

It’s not difficult to feel invested in these scenes when you’ve spent 18 days writing Egypt’s story – without ever really knowing what the conclusion would be. We don’t know it now – but the unique images we have broadcast on CNN (horses and camels rushing through Tahrir Square, thousands praying as protesters threw rocks behind them, apparent innocents taking bullets to the head, and Mubarak’s none-too-ambiguous podium appearance just last night) are indelible in the minds of viewers around the world.

We have introduced various players (opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, VP Omar Suleiman and protest talisman Wael Ghonim among them), little knowing what their influence might be. Now we watch Egypt come under the guidance of its enigmatic military, and the next chapter will be just as beguiling to behold.

The CNN team in Egypt has done a supreme job in telling this story – and in attempting to represent the views of the entire Egyptian population (anti-Mubarak, pro-Mubarak and neutral alike). And their efforts have been reflected in the words of a man who has influenced developments in an unbelievably News Stream-friendly way. Between Facebook page creation (and subsequent detention), Twitter updates and a compelling interview with CNN’s Ivan Watson, Wael Ghonim has been a worthy human face of this revolution. And his appreciation is humbling:

“You guys have played a great role in saving the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people. CNN did a great job. You guys deserve a great recognition from the Egyptian people and we are not going to forget your role. You guys are heroes as well. You are part of the revolution. You should be proud of yourself.”

Stay with News Stream – and CNN as a whole – as we follow Egypt’s progress to an uncertain (but certainly intriguing) future.

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