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Friday, February 18, 2011

Islamists 1, young secular Egyptians 0 (SoccerDad)

Thomas Friedman:

Indeed, it is no surprise that the emerging spokesman for this uprising is Wael Ghonim — a Google marketing executive who is Egyptian. He opened a Facebook page called “We are all Khaled Said,” named for an activist who was allegedly beaten to death by police in Alexandria. And that page helped spark the first protests here. Ghonim was abducted by Egyptian security officials on Jan. 28, and he was released on Monday. On Monday night, he gave an emotional TV interview that inspired many more people to come into the squareon Tuesday. And when he spoke there in the afternoon, he expressed the true essence of this uprising. 
Roger Cohen:

The sea of people pulsated with energy, galvanized by the words of Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who got the Mubarak treatment — 12-day disappearance, blindfolding, interrogation — before a tweet that will one day be etched in some granite memorial: “Freedom is a bless that deserves fighting for it.”

Reality:

Google executive Wael Ghonim, who emerged as a leading voice in Egypt's uprising, was barred from the stage in Tahrir Square on Friday by security guards, an AFP photographer said. Ghonim tried to take the stage in Tahrir, the epicentre of anti-regime protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, but men who appeared to be guarding influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi barred him from doing so.

Ghonim, who was angered by the episode, then left the square with his face hidden by an Egyptian flag.


(from SoccerDad via email)