Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Freed young leader energizes Egyptian protests - Online Organizer

It is the youth and the internet that have sparked the dissent in Egypt and throughout the Mideast.

CAIRO (AP) - 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."

Many in the crowd said they were inspired by Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old Google Inc. marketing manager who was a key organizer of the online campaign that sparked the first protest on Jan. 25 to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Straight from his release from 12 days of detention, Ghonim gave an emotionally charged television interview Monday night where he sobbed over those who have been killed in two weeks of clashes.

He spoke softly and briefly to the huge crowd from a stage, starting by offering his condolences to the families of those killed.

"I'm not a hero but those who were martyred are the heroes," he said, then breaking into a chant of "Mubarak leave, leave."

When he finished speaking, the crowd erupted in cheering, whistling and deafening applause.
In his first television interview Monday night, Ghonim dubbed the protests "the revolution of the youth of the Internet" and proclaimed defiantly: "We are not traitors."

He arrived in the square when it was packed shoulder-to-shoulder, a crowd comparable in size to the biggest demonstration so far that drew a quarter-million people.

Read full MyWay article here.

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