Wednesday, January 25, 2012 |
First aired on Q (19/01/12)
Last January, Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing manager and online activist based in Cairo, created a Facebook page called "We Are All Khaled Said." It was intended to honour a 27-year-old Egyptian blogger who had been beaten to death by police some months before.
Thousands of Facebook tribute pages go up and down each day with little fanfare. Ghonim's page, however, sparked a pro-democracy revolution that toppled the 30-year-old regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Ghonim, who observed the anger and frustration of young Egyptian activists and bloggers at Said's death, started the page to draw attention to human rights in the country and to engage with other Egyptians. He posted surveys and solicited opinions.
"I put a question that said ... 'Police day is on the 25th. If we all go to the streets, if a 100,000 people take to Cairo's streets, we will do whatever we want ... Would that be a good idea?'"
Every January 25, the Egyptians have National Police Day, a holiday that commemorates the work of the country's police officers.
"A lot of people started sending messages [saying] that would be great. And this is how the snowball started."
You can listen to Jian's entire conversation with Wael Ghonim in the audio clip below.
by Wael Ghonim
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From the publisher:"The revolutions sweeping the Middle East in 2011 were unlike any that the world had ever seen. Brutal regimes that had been in power for many decades were suddenly swarmed by unstoppable mobs of freedom seekers. Now, one of the key figures behind the Egyptian uprising tells the inside, riveting story of what happened, and presents lessons for all of us on how to unleash the power of crowds.