Posts tagged ‘وائل غنيم’

February 11, 2011

Wael Ghonim – a man who offers his life for his people.

The man who has become one of the most compelling faces of the Egyptian revolution is a fascinating figure.He doesn’t want to be viewed as a hero but his story is compelling. I have been following him on Twitter but didn’t know the story of his life.

Looking at Wikipedia I see that he really is a patriot who loves his country.

Ghonim persuaded Google to allow him to return to Egypt, citing a “personal problem”.[12] After his arrival, he disappeared on 27 January 2011 during thenationwide unrest in Egypt. His family told Al-Arabiya and other international media that he was missing. Google also issued a statement confirming the disappearance. Many bloggers like Chris DiBona and Habib Haddad campaigned in an attempt to identify his whereabouts. On 5 February 2011, Mostafa Alnagar, a major Egyptian opposition figure, reported Wael Ghonim as alive and detained by the authorities and to be released ‘within hours’.[13] On 6 February 2011,Amnesty International demanded that the Egyptian authorities disclose where Ghonim was and to release him.[14]

Read the Wikipedia entry here.

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February 11, 2011

Hosni Mubarak – deaf to the voice of his people

Today the people of Egypt and the rest of the world were subjected to the greatest letdown in recent history as Hosni Mubarak defiantly ignored the voices of his people in Tahrir Square and refused to step down. What did he do? He handed over some of his powers to VP Sulieman – a man described as his vice-torturer by an interview subject on TV today.

How a leader can be so disconnected from the voice of his people when he can see millions of them protesting on TV ( admittedly not on state TV – but I am sure even Mubarak has access to Al Jazeera or CNN) and then give them the finger is beyond me. How he can have his state information agencies say that eleven people have died when he must know that it is over three hundred – because his secret police killed them – is equally beyond me.

What Mubarak doesn’t understand is that ordinary Egyptians are calling for him to leave. That ordinary Egyptians are leaving their families ( or even taking them with them), the comfort of their homes,  their jobs and their safety to lie in the cold in Tahrir Square. The world can learn a lesson from the people of Egypt – that the best interest of your fellow citizens and your country is more important than yourself. The same can be seen for other groups fighting for rights.

When Mubarak refers in his speech to those trying to create a bad image of Egypt and suggesting that foreign satellite stations are doing it, he is being a fool. All the world sees is the people of Egypt demanding their rights and for him to get the hell out of their country.

A  guest on BBC World Service radio today said that Mubarak is “old, senile and stupid”. I honestly can’t disagree.

And while I was serial tweeting the happenings in Egypt today I noted that some were suggesting  that people should be concentrating on things in their own homelands if they were not Egyptian.. I think not. We are all part of humanity, and thanks to social networking we can be part of events around the world.  There is something called solidarity and it means a lot to the people who are struggling – whether to reclaim their country or to be given basic human rights like the LGBT community or the elderly or the dispossessed. We are all part of humanity and thus, thanks to the internet, part of a human struggle for rights. If my library card price goes up it isn’t more  important than people sleeping in the streets of Cairo or Alexandria to be given a real representative government.

And on a side note, on Facebook a friend with Egyptian connections asked me what I thought about the events today. I am not saying I am politically correct or diplomatic but I answered “As a journalist, I would say he is a desperate Despot. As a person I would say he is a fucktard.”

Right now  we are all Egyptian.