By AMANDA VENDER
Population: 85 million
Main industries: Petroleum (oil), petroleum products and cotton
People’s main complaints: low living standards, low minimum wage, rising food costs, poor health care and education, police attacks on people who show they are not in favor of the government, unfair elections
What is happening now: The country is run by the military. It says it will hand over power to a newly elected president in August.
U.S. Aid: The U.S. government has been a huge supporter of the Mubarak regime giving Egypt over $60 billion since 1979, more than any other country except Israel
I think that the people are right in protesting because [President] Hosni Mubarak’s regime is a very corrupt regime – he steals all the people’s money and tortures people and arrests people for no reason.
Ali Tarek Atia, age 10, Cairo, Egypt
I care a lot [about what is going on in Egypt] because I have numerous relatives there that I care about. But even if I was not from Egypt, I would still care about everyone else who has been suffering through all 30 years of Hosni Mubarak’s ruling.
Nadya Ali, age 12, New York City
On Wednesday February 9, my family and I went to Liberation Square. We stayed there for 3 hours. I heard people chanting ”Down down Hosni Mubarak” and there were tents, lots of signs, a barber, and a hospital – it was like a mini city. On [Friday,] the day he resigned, my family and I went and celebrated in the street with lots of other people. People were singing, banging on drums, holding Egyptian flags and even taking pictures with the army tanks.
Omar Tarek Atia, age 12, Cairo, Egypt
[During the protests] my mom sent me down with food and tea for the people who were watching and protecting my street.
Asmaa Mohamed Shokry, age 12, Alexandria, Egypt
I hope that peace and stability come back to my country, and I also hope that my people will be prosperous and that everybody will have a decent job.
Romani Wageeh Yacob, age 13, Alexandria, Egypt
I hope in the future people who express their opinions will not be shot at by the police.
Yasmeen Sa’eed Abdel Fatah, age 13, Alexandria, Egypt
I want all the stolen money to come back and all the people who stole it be brought to justice.
Marwan Mohamed Abbas, 11, Alexandria, Egypt
I went out with the demonstrators to the Midan (Qaid Ibrahim Square). We demanded the ousting of the whole regime.
Hisham Mohamed Abbas,13, Alexandria, Egypt
I stayed all night looking out the window at the popular groups who were protecting our neighborhood from the thugs.
Maii Mohamed Shokry, age 10, Alexandria, Egypt