Joy in Arab world over Egypt as people ask who is next?

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Dubai, Feb 12 (PTI) The euphoria that marked thedownfall of despot Hosni Mubarak in Egypt reverberated to thepeople across the Arab and Muslim world, but stunned most ofthe regimes in the Middle East and beyond where autocraticrulers apparently calculated their own chances of survival.

People in Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen, Bahrain,Algeria, Lebanon, Syria and Iran greeted with fanfare thevictory of people in Egypt by fireworks, honking horns,embracing and greeting each other with joy, but there was astunned silence in the corridors of powers in most of thecountries.

Most of the key Arab states including Saudi Arabia,Libya, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain which are monarchies andsheikhdoms are yet to respond to events in Egypt -- the mostpopulated Arab country.

It has been just eight weeks since a young Tunisianvegetable seller Mohammad Bouazizi set himself on fire in theprovincial town of Sidi, triggering a revolution which hastoppled two powerful Arab regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.

Inspired by events in Tunsia and Egypt, groups arealready rallying in Yemen, Algeria, Jordan and Bahrain. Thepeople have been intensely following the unfolding of peoples''power in Egypt through satellite channels, social networkingwebsites and papers.

Turkey, one of the largest Muslim democratic country,was the first to greet the events in Egypt with Prime MinisterRcecep Tayyip Erdogan congratulating the Egyptian people andurging the military to swiftly transfer power to the electedgovernment.

In Doha, the ruling family of Qatar described thetransition of power to military as positive and important andhoped that Egypt would regain the leading role in Arab andMuslim world.

The gas rich kingdom has earned the ire of itsneighboring states including Egypt over the coverage of eventsby Al-Jazeera news channel which is part owned by the rulingfamily.

Saluting the Egyptian people, the Iranian government,which has broken off diplomatic ties with Cairo, described theEgyptian uprising as a great victory.

Iran''s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hadearlier called for establishment of an Islamic regime inEgypt. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a new Middle Eastwas being carved out that would be free of "US and Israel."

Celebrations also erupted in Lebanon and Gaza. InBeirut and Gaza, people rushed into the streets handing outcandy, setting of fireworks and shooting in the air.

Lebanon''s Hezbollah, which has been at the receivingend of Mubarak, congratulated the Egyptians on the historicvictory. The group said it was holding a massive popularcelebration to mark the victory of the Egyptian people. MOREPTI ZH AKD

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