Google Hero Wael Ghonim Vows to 'Not Abandon Our Demand' That Mubarak Quit


The government made further concessions in an effort to defuse the crowd's anger. Vice President Omar Suleiman said today that the Egyptian cabinet has begun preliminary discussions around a new Constitution, and repeated his promise that protesters will not be prosecuted.

In recent days, the regime has given a pay raise for six million state workers and pledged to investigate corruption, but many protesters say that is not enough.

A frank roundtable of Egyptian pundits on state TV this morning openly discussed the concessions, observing that they do not amount to the kind of change the protesters demanded and wondering if the protesters are getting frustrated with the pace of change.

Hosni Mubarak Makes Concessions

Mubarak today held his first meeting with a foreign official since the conflict began two weeks ago, sitting down with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates. The photo op sent another message to the country that their president is in charge.

Away from Tahrir Square there is evidence that Egyptians are starting to calculate the cost of the prolonged standoff.

his morning, the pyramids in the tourist mecca of Giza were virtually deserted and Egypt's once-booming tourist industry has ground to a halt.

"The Sphinx is sad," Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass told ABC News.

In the ancient port and resort city of Alexandria, many people said they are "fed up" with the protests, even if they joined them at the outset. An engineer named Aly said, "Enough is enough. They've accomplished what they intended."

Frustrated crowds told ABC News that the protests have virtually stopped all business and they want to get back to their lives and their jobs. While they would like to see new elections, they want Mubarak to stay in office until then. They don't like how their president has been roundly criticized.

An older woman said, "We love Mubarak. He's been a good president. Make sure Americans know that."

On the opposite side of the same square, people held an opposite point of view. Protesters gathered in front of the Ibrahim Mosque say that if they stop now then all they've gained will be lost and Mubarak will stay.

"If we stop, we lose everything," said 21-year-old Mohammad. "Mubarak is lying," he shouted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 12865128.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...