The Egyptian Internet Activist Wael Ghonim:The Face of the Egyptian Protest Movement

News article, posted 02.18.2011, from Egypt, in:
Egyptian Internet Activist Wael Ghonim

Ghonim's appearance on the private Egyptian TV channel Dream TV was a moving one. He gave an interview right after he got out of police custody, where he had spent 12 days. During that time, no one knew of his whereabouts. 

In the emotional interview, Ghonim fought to find words and even wept. "All mothers and fathers who lost sons, to them I want to say: I am so sorry! But it was not our mistake. It was the mistake of those who abuse power and who want to cling to their power," he told his interviewer.

From the beginning, blogger Ghonim was a leading organiser of the demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square against authoritarian President Mubarak, who ran the Egyptian government for three decades until demonstrators forced him to step down on 11 February. The young Egyptian spent 12 days in prison, and reappeared on Monday, 7 February. 

Charismatic figure

On Tuesday, 8 February, the crowd cheered him on as he gave a speech on Tahrir Square – the epicentre of the protest movement that kept the world spellbound. He seemed to be just what they wanted: a charismatic leader and a figure that people could identify with; a public face for a broader societal problem.

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Loay Mudhoon

© Deutsche Welle 2011

Editor: Aingeal Flanagan/