Middle East

Egypt protests: reactions to Hosni Mubarak's speech

A protester in Tahrir Square holds Egyptian flags - 1 February 2011
Image caption President Mubarak's announcement came as hundreds of thousands rallied in central Cairo urging him to step down immediately.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he will not stand for re-election in September, as protests against his rule grow. Speaking on Egyptian television he said he would do everything he could to ensure a peaceful transition.

Here, Egyptians share their reaction to his statement.

Adham Bakry, graphic designer, Cairo

I'm now taking out sleeping bags and I'm calling people to get prepared to camp out until Mubarak goes.

I was born in 1982 so have lived all my life under Mubarak. I'm tired of the emergency law, I'm tired of being stopped everywhere. I'm tired of low salaries. I'm tired of everything. How can we live in a country where the internet just gets shut off?

I feel guilty for not being in Tahrir Square now but I was having breathing problems - I think it's the after-effects of being hit by tear gas several times last week.

Mubarak's statement that he will stand down by the next election is just his way of trying to make people feel relaxed and give up protesting.

This will not work. We are not going to go back to normal life. We will not stand for this.

Mubarak is not just a man, he is also a symbol that we must get rid of. Once he is gone, much more can change and many more heads will roll. When he has gone, then the opposition groups can start talking.

Yes, there may be chaos after he goes, but people have to be prepared for this, they must be prepared to withstand everything. This is a revolution.

Mubarak will go; it is a matter of time. You can't change a regime that has lasted 30 years in a few days. I've been here since the start and I've quit my job so I can stay on protesting on the streets. I'm in it for the long haul.

Amna El-Tawill, blogger and freelance journalist, Alexandria

I was watching Mubarak's speech on television. I knew that was what he was going to say, although I was hoping that he would step down.

In different circumstances, I would have been happy with his words. But every time I see him on television I get angry. He does not hear us or understand us.

I don't trust him. He can say that he will leave at the end of his term but will he really?

We will continue to demonstrate and more people will join us.

But he is now beginning to see that the western governments are no longer supporting him the way they used to. He is losing his power.

I hope that he will leave this Friday - that is what I hope for.

He does not realise that we are not controlled by any particular opposition group. This is not a political protest - it is a people's protest.

What has happened has made Egyptians more civilised. Now a girl can go out without being harassed. We all listen to each other as human beings with the same problem.

We are all speaking to each other more. We - the Egyptians - have regained our ability to speak.

He needs to step down and soon. I am afraid the situation will turn bloody the longer he stays.

Islam El Tahtawey, auditor, Cairo

I agreed with what President Mubarak said in his speech - as did many of my family members.

I am positive about the future and if there are demonstrations in support of President Mubarak's presidency, then I shall be among the first to join.

What people don't understand is that the president cannot simply say "I am leaving tomorrow" and make everything fine.

It will be better if there is a transition and he takes his time to leave.

By bowing down to the protesters' demands he leave, he would be taking the easier option. He could easily have fled the country. But as it is, he has chosen the harder road.

I think his decision is also actually a safer path for the country. However, his position is certainly not safe.

He has done some bad things but he has also done many good things for Egypt during his 30 years in power.

What the people of Egypt have to do is say thank you to President Mubarak when he leaves.