At approximately 4:30 on Sunday afternoon, Cairo’s Tahrir Square was filled with thousands of exhausted protesters listening silently to a 25-minute-long muffled reading of the presidential election results. The summer sun beat down on the Egyptian flags and banners as heat rose from the pavement. But relief, and reward, was soon to come. As the winner was announced the crowd erupted in a volcanic roar of jubilation, the likes of which I had only seen and heard once before, on February 11, 2011: the day Mubarak was toppled.
The crowd now grew at an incredible pace as an avalanche of celebratory newcomers arrived to the square. They euphorically cheered for what seemed to have been an increasingly unlikely prospect: victory for their candidate, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi. Days of speculation following the runoff elections had officially ended, and so had several nerve-wracking days filled with contradictory news leaks and “anonymous sources” making confusing statements. But now, Egypt officially has its first freely and fairly elected civilian president-elect.