Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 25 Protests in Egypt

For the first time, I'm finding myself glued to Twitter. I tried using it before, but never really understood the advantage it had over Facebook.

Then the protests in Egypt started.

I was urged by a friend in Cairo to go to Twitter and search for #jan25; the search term for anything relating to the Egyptian mass protests that started on January 25.

From then on I was addicted. I am addicted. I discovered the intoxication of receiving instant, uncensored updates from people who are actually out on the streets, protesting against Hosni Mubarak's undemocratic (to say the least) regime.

And the things the Egyptians are saying... people are witty, sincere, eloquent:
@SalmaNoshokaty: must be the longest day in Egyptian history, it's the 27th but for us it's still the 25th

 @SherineT: El Baradei: "The Egyptian people broke the barrier of fear, and once that is broken, there is no stopping them," 
@HosniMobarak: Habib just sent me a bbm. He says I should prepare a farewell speech for my citizens. Where are you guys going? 
(I didn't get it first; but it's supposed to be a clueless Mubarak speaking... haha)
@abgemei: Arab World is rising, Israel shits its pants.
(Oh, indeed)
@geoplace: Cairo residents in Egypt remove passwords from their wi-fi routers so protesters can communicate with the world 

(How great is that?)

@adlybazaar: Walk like an Egyptian
@A_MgDee: Please retweet to the world. We are being beaten up to death, arrested for expressing our point of views 
(How brave, to stand up for what you believe in under these circumstances).
@shabab6april: Egyptians calling for a 1 MILLION march All over egypt after friday prayers which end at 1pm share,Retweet,forward,broadcast 
izzy82 Reports that Friday prayers are banned, big mosques closed in central #Cairo to prevent protesters from gathering 
(Oh, but protesters will still gather!)
@ianinegypt El Giesh street looks like a war zone. Burnt out tires and rubble litter the street. Police checkpoint destroyed. 
And my favorite tweet from yesterday:
"Yesterday we were all Tunisian. Today we are all Egyptian. Tomorrow we'll all be free."
Just because I discovered Twitter, however, doesn't mean that I abandoned Facebook. And neither did the Egyptians. Twitter is best for updates, but Facebook is still where people organize themselves. Sonia Verma reports:
"An estimated 3.4 million Egyptians use the social networking site, the vast majority under the age of 25. Egypt is the No. 1 user of Facebook in the Arab world, and No. 23 globally. It is the third most-visited website in the country, after Google and Yahoo. 

With freedom of speech and the right to assemble severely limited in Egypt, which has been ruled under a state-of-emergency law since 1981, Facebook provides one of the only forums for dissent." 
To support the Egyptian revolution (also called the Koshari Revolution on Twitter), join here.

Finally, to remember one of those who sparked the social movement that lead to the protests on  January 25:

@_aser: Today is Khaled Said 's 29 birthday , let's make it a real birthday for freedom. 

Khaled Said was the young Egyptian beaten to death by the Egyptian police last summer, after having exposed corrupted police officers on his blog.

(Redundant observation: the internet is changing our world. Or we're changing our world with the help of the internet).

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1 comment:

Ruby said...

RT @Anon_VV Everything ██is█████ ████ ████fine ███ █ ████ love. ████ █████ the ███ Egypt ███ ████ government ██ #jan25 #Egypt #censorship