Only one year ago, on January 25, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Cairo to voice their anger against corruption, poverty and repression in a demonstration called “Day of Wrath.”
These protests were inspired by the Tunisian protests earlier that month that saw the ouster of President Zine Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 and the beginning of the Arab Spring uprisings.
Following three days of protests in Cairo, President Hosni Mubarak ordered military troops and tanks to storm into cities overnight in a bid to quell the uprising.
Demonstrators then happily greeted army intervention, since they saw the military as a force of balance in politics, especially compared to the police, who were frequently deployed to stifle dissent and were known to abuse their power.
But the Egyptian people wanted an end to Mubarak’s rule. On February 1, more than a million people around the country marched to make their demands heard.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the capital’s Tahrir Square demanding Mubarak to step down from power on the “Day of Departure.”
Ten days later, on February 10, Mubarak announced that he had initiated a national dialogue to transfer power to the vice-president, but he refused to leave office immediately.
The protestors were furious and continued with their demands.
The following day, Mubarak was forced to step down and a military council was formed to run the country’s affairs for an interim period.
Hundreds of thousands packed into Tahrir Square to celebrate the end of Mubarak’s rule and the birth of a new Egypt.
Egyptians wanted, and got, Mubarak to face charges for excesses committed during his 30 years in power.
On August 3, Mubarak was wheeled into a courtroom on a bed in Cairo to face trial for corruption and for ordering violence against protestors calling for an end to his rule. His sons Gamal and Alaa also faced charges of corruption. All three deny the charges.
Egypt would still see protests continue, however.
In November, Tahrir Square was packed again, with thousands demanding an end to military rule, marking November 25 as the largest day of protest.
Three days later, the first phase of voting for the lower house began, with the elections running through January.
On January 25, Mubarak will watch the anniversary events from a bed in a Cairo military hospital, where he is in custody.
Mubarak could face the death penalty if found guilty.