But on February 11, 2011, Tahrir Square proved to be distinctly different. The military commander for the Cairo area, General Hassan al-Roueini appeared in the Tahrir Square on Friday (Jumma Day) and told the protestors: “All your demands will be met .”  Ahead of the military’s formal announcement, the military’s chief of staff, Sami Anan also made an appearance in the Tahrir Square where he pledged to safeguard the people’s demands and their security. Thousands of protestors roared in approval.

It was after night fall, the “Pharaoh’s” 29-year rule ended.  Vice President Omar Suleiman announced this through television channel and the Tahrir Square erupted with joy. The Lebanese Capital celebrated with fireworks and so also other parts of West Asia.

The 82-year old modern Pharaoh, Hosni Mubarak abdicated the presidency flew out of Cairo to his holiday resort at Sharm-el-Sheikh on the Red Sea. Thus Friday was a Mubarak Day for Egypt.

The Egyptian pro-democracy protest began around January 25, 2011 with a small group of youth activists working through internet. They had the support of the Nobel Laureate Mohammed El Baradei. It soon grew into a massive demonstration and the 18-day pro-democracy wave unseated the dictator.

The Tiananmen Square protests were sparked by the death of Hu Yaobang, a Communist Party official known for tolerating dissent, and whom protesters had wanted to mourn. By the eve of Hu’s funeral, 100,000 people had gathered at Tiananmen Square. The pro-democracy protest began from April 14, 1989 being led by students and intellectuals and lasted for seven weeks and was finally ruthlessly suppressed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

In Egypt, however, the Army refused to suppress the pro-democracy movement. The Army has promised democratic reforms keeping with the aspirations of the people. Necessary amendments to the Constitution and dissolution of both the houses of the Parliament preceding a general election are the options under consideration. Hopefully the Army will do well to respect the democratic aspirations of the people.

Earlier in a television speech on Tuesday, Hosni Mubarak had offered his proposal for gradual transfer of power. He had entrusted the Vice President Omar Suleiman with the task of holding dialogue with all the political forces and factions about all the issues relating to political and democratic reform and the constitutional and legislative amendments required to realise these legitimate demands and to restore law and order.

He said that he would not contest for the Presidential elections, but will remain in office for few months till new arrangements were made. He urged both the Houses of the Parliament to discuss amending Article 76 and 77 of the Constitution concerning the conditions on running for Presidency of the Republic and sets specific a period for the Presidential term. He suggested Parliament to adhere to the word of the judiciary and its verdicts concerning the latest cases which have been legally challenged.

But the pro-democracy demonstrators were unwilling to buy his assurances and pledged to continue their nationwide agitation.  The US President Barack Obama in a statement also doubted the intentions of Hosni Mubarak as to whether the proposed transition to democracy as assured by him would be immediate, genuine, meaningful and sufficient. The Army had no other option but to pull down the curtain which ended the 29-year rule of the dictator.