Friday, February 11, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
The recent revelation that Wael Ghonim - the Google exec who was detained by the Mubarak regime and was missing from January 27 until today - was the administrator of the We Are All Khalid Said website and facebook page that declared Jan 25 to be the Egyptian day of protest makes for a plot worthy of Hollywood, or perhaps a novel by Naguib Mahfouz were he still alive:
Following the fatal and unpunished beating of a small-time businessman in Alexandria at the hands of the police after he "posted a video on the Internet of officers sharing the spoils from a drug bust among themselves" (scroll down in this link for the full story), an anonymous hacker decides to seek revenge. Known only as El Shaheed - the martyr - he creates a page that galvanizes an entire nation against a ruthless dictator who has held power and destroyed opposition for nearly 30 years. In a country threatened by sectarian violence and a populace so disenfranchised the trash in the street becomes a symbol of its decay, a day of protest is declared that hardly dares to hope (dream?) that perhaps it will be the one to finally bring this despot down when so many have failed before. Using the latest in communications technology and the simplest handmade signs, a fierce unity is created between Christians and Muslims, Secularists and Religious, Rich and Poor, all rising up to take the revolution to the streets - even sweeping them in their wake(!) - while the world waits with baited breath to learn the outcome of the standoff between the people and their universally despised autocratic leader. Men on horse and camel back, riot police, and fighter jets attempt to intimidate the people, but they will not back down. Finally, the government cuts off the internet - but too late. El Shaheed goes quiet, but his role is done. Older forms of social media - also known as word of mouth - take over. Unable to ascertain his identity, a Newseek reporter writes:
"Fires still burned on the streets of the capital; in their flickering light, people huddled together to talk openly about revolution for the first time in many years. ... Perhaps somewhere in the crowds was El Shaheeed."
But alas our hero was nowhere to be found, and the drama builds.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I have saved my own copy of the post which he wrote before he was arrested and beaten, which at the time of my writing this is at the top of his blog (link above) or direct link here: http://www.sandmonkey.org/2011/02/03/egypt-right-now/