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Colorado’s Egyptian Community Rejoices

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) - Egypt is holding its biggest party in decades. They’re celebrating the resignation of its long-time president after 18 days of protests.

The nation’s vice president went on national TV Friday morning to announce that Hosni Mubarak was handing control of the country to the military.

In Cairo people cheered. The crowd in the city’s Tahrir Square chanted “the people have toppled the regime.” Egypt’s military says it is no substitute for a legitimate government and it won’t try to be one.

The Egyptian community in Colorado may be small but its voice is being heard after Friday prayers at the Islamic center.

“I’m very happy, I’m very, very happy,” Khaled Aboeleyoun said.

Aboeleyoun says his people have sent a strong message to every corrupt regime.

Click here for in-depth coverage of the chaos in Egypt from CBSNews.com.

space Colorados Egyptian Community Rejoices

The hated Mubarak is finally gone. All the credit goes to 3 weeks of mounting pressure from youthful anti-government protesters.

“I am surprised and I kind of envy them because our generation did not do it,” Aboeleyoun said.

More than 30 years of rule by one man has been brought to an end with remarkably little violence.

“They stood for what they believe and there was no blood yesterday,” Hossam Hassan said. “That’s the most important thing.”

“We haven’t seen a revolution with this magnitude that it can be conducted in such a reasonable and peaceful way,” Dr. Ashraf Azeem said.

In late January, Hossam Karoussa was worried sick about his young children still living in his homeland. On Friday,  after Mubarak’s ouster, Karoussa again talked to his family.

“Oh, they are all happy, everybody is happy in Egypt — safe and happy,” Karoussa said.

As the demonstrations had grown, the government pulled the plug on Internet access. When instant communication like e-mail, Facebook and Twitter was restored, it proved to be a powerful political tool.

The celebratory mood goes beyond local Egyptians. It’s shared by many Arabs, but all wonder what’s next.

“I hope we do not replace one poisonous snake by another,” Abu-Omar Almubarac said.

One local Egyptian said he cries for those who died so his homeland could be free. He added that it’s a blessing to witness this history in the making.

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