The New Face Of Tahrir


by Chris Bodenner

Amira Al Hussaini spotlights Google exec Wael Ghonim, who rallied protesters to near unprecedented levels yesterday:

Ghonim is the formerly anonymous administrator of the We Are All Khaled Said group, which sparked the calls for nation-wide protests to call for change. The group is named after Khaled Said, a young man from Alexandria murdered at the hands of police. His death, last June, caused widespread demonstrations and rage against police torture and the ‘use of Emergency Law to terrorise citizens.'

After his release, Ghomin, gave a candid interview to Egyptian channel Dream TV. Blogger Mohamed El Gohary translates Ghonim's interview here. Ghonim's tears as he mourned the victims killed by Mubarak's regime during the protests, is believed to have rallied even more people towards the cause.

That scene after the jump:

Robert Mackey provides more subtitled clips of that compelling interview. Al Hussaini adds:

Writing at Egyptian Chronicles, Zeinobia says the highlight of [Tuesday]'s protests at Tahrir, was when Ghonim met Khaled Said's mother. Like many others, Zeinobia says that Khaled Said is Egypt's Mohamed Bou Azizi, the young man from Tunisia's Sidi Bouzid, whose self-imolation sparked the Tunisian uprising, which ended with the escape of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last month.

Amy Davidson highlights the part of Ghonim's interview where he talks about his detention, during which he was threatened with torture:

“Sitting writing on the keyboard”and sitting in a prison, blindfolded, for twelve days. He also mentions that he had been kept awake for the previous forty-eight hours. If that was meant to expose Ghonim’s rawest aspect, then his interrogators defeated themselves: what has been left most exposed, after twelve days, is a set of clear convictions about what he was doing and why, the meaning of the rule of law, and the gamble of civil disobedience.

(Photo: Egyptian Wael Ghonim, a 30-year-old Google Inc. marketing manager who was a key organizer of the online campaign that sparked the first protest on Jan. 25, talks to the crowd in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. A young leader of Egypt's anti-government protesters, newly released from detention, joined a massive crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square for the first time Tuesday, greeted by cheers, whistling and thunderous applause when he declared: "We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime." By Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP)