Wael Ghonim SpeaksPosted: February 7, 2011 Filed under: Breaking News, Egypt | Tags: 2011: days of revolt, mona eltahawy, Wael Ghonim 41 Comments
Al Jazeera English clip of what as far as I can tell are Wael Ghonim’s first public comments after being released today, made at his home:
Wael also gave an interview that is making waves across Egypt.
The Guardian — “Facebook campaigner Wael Ghonim strikes a chord on Egyptian television“:
Google executive’s emotional interview after his release hailed as a landmark moment in Egypt revolt
Wael Ghonim at his home in Cairo on Monday. Photograph: Ahmed Ali/AP
An emotional television interview given by a young Egyptian Google executive who was arrested after playing a key role in using the internet to spark the uprising against Hosni Mubarak is being hailed as a landmark moment in the ongoing revolt after it struck a chord across Egypt and beyond.
Wael Ghonim, a marketing manager who became a hero to anti-government protestors after he went missing on 27 January, confirmed in the interview following his release that he was behind a highly influential Facebook page that helped lead to what he described as “the revolution of the youth of the internet.”
Before his appearance on Monday on a privately owned Egyptian television channel, the father-of-two was held in repute by many who believed that he was the anonymous activist behind a Facebook page named after a young Egyptian businessman whose death at the hands of police in June set off months of protests.
The page, “We are all Khaled Said“, became one of the main tools for organising the demonstrations that started the revolt in earnest on 25 January.
However, Ghonim’s stature across the country now appears destined to rise dramatically if the post-interview reaction on the internet is anything to go by. Calls are being made for him to stand as president. Others predicted that his performance, which was being acclaimed as a tour de force of calm but explosive political passion, would inevitably boost the numbers of those attending the latest mass demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir square and elsewhere this morning.
“I am not a hero. I only used the keyboard, the real heroes are the ones on the ground. Those I can’t name,” said Ghonim, who sobbed throughout the interview, which ended with him being overcome with emotion as he was shown images of some of those who died in the uprising.
This appears to be the scene at the end where Ghonim becomes overwhelmed and leaves the studio upon being shown images of people who died in the protests:
Translation of Ghonim’s words in the above clip, as provided by a comment left on the youtube:
“I’m so sorry, but I swear by God, we are not to blame. It’s the fault of those in power, who refuse to step down. I want to go.”
I see a longer clip from the interview and even a translated transcript of the full interview, but I caught this retweeted on Mona Eltahawy‘s twitter:
@RamyYaacoub is going to subtitle the Ghonim interview tonight (EST).
RamyYaacoub says the video will be coming up shortly, so I’ll add that when it becomes available.
Also Mona tweeted this about 4 hours ago, and it’s being retweeted a lot:
#Egypt revolution isn’t 1 person but mass uprising. Needs a face or else #Mubarak‘s war of attrition will wearit down. Make @Ghonim face NOW
This is an open thread to discuss the protests in Egypt and other developments in the Middle East.
RamyYaacoub had video editor issues, so he’s just posted his transcript here with timestamps. Also, Alive in Egypt has overlaid captions on the youtubes: Part I | Part 2 | Part 3 | Last Part
And, a memorial page: 1000memories.com — Egypt Remembers.
Tuesday ReadsPosted: February 1, 2011 Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, Barack Obama, Central Intelligence Agency, Egypt, Foreign Affairs, U.S. Politics | Tags: Ali A. Mohammed, Anwar Sadat, Barack Obama, Egypt, Jimmy Carter, Jon Huntsman, Keith Olbermann, Morning reads, snow, Tom Brokaw, Wael Ghonim, weather 33 Comments
Have you heard about the gigantic winter storm that is affecting 29 states?
National Weather Service advisories and warnings are in effect in more than 20 states as a powerful storm gets organized in the Midwest. A blizzard warning is in effect for Chicago, where 12 to 20 inches of snow is possible. Other cities which may experience blizzard conditions include Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City, and Detroit. Snow is expected to begin tonight and tomorrow from southwest to northeast and continue into early Wednesday.
The Chicago Tribune’s Weather Center cautions: “Snowfall totals in excess of 12 inches coupled with winds of 25 to 40 mph will make long distance travel extremely dangerous if not impossible.”
Wednesday morning into Thursday, the heavy snow moves through central New York, northern Massachusetts,southern Vermont, New Hampshire and southeast Maine.
Weather.com says the storm may be historic, due to the areal coverage of snow forecast – with upwards of 1 foot likely across a “2100-mile long swath from the Southern Plains to coastal New England.”
We’re supposed to get 18 inches in the Boston area, plus it will be mixed with ice pellets on Wednesday. I can’t take it anymore!!!!! All this snow is really getting to me.
In other news, the Republicans are all a-twitter over some guy named Jon Huntsman who is probably going to run for President. I admit I never heard of him and couldn’t care less what he does, but it seems to be the talk of the Village. To top it off, this guy has been working for Obama. Does he have any Democrats working for him?
Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the U.S. ambassador to China, sent a resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House said. Huntsman now is likely to explore a Republican presidential bid, according to supporters.
In a letter hand-delivered to the White House, the former Utah governor said that he wants to return to the United States by May. The letter thanks Obama for the opportunity to serve the country and praises the U.S. embassy staff in Beijing.
If Huntsman won the GOP nomination, he would be challenging the reelection of his former boss. White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal, but know that any public criticism would be likely to benefit Huntsman if he enters the primaries.
Huntsman boasts the most foreign policy experience of any of the likely GOP candidates, and would be a formidable entry to the unformed GOP field. He had a fiscally conservative record as governor, opposes abortion and is a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights.
Yep, sounds like Obama’s type.
If you haven’t read Joseph Cannon’s latest, you should rush right over and do so. He has a fascinating, well-researched post up about Ali Abdul Saoud, a.k.a. Ali A. Mohammed, a muslim double agent who worked for both the CIA and al Qaeda and may have been involved (along with Omar Suleiman?) in the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
It’s a fascinating read, and I’m not just saying that because Cannon linked to my post on Suleiman.
This is a frightening story out of Egypt: Google Executive Missing in Wake of Egypt Protests.
An executive for Google Inc. is missing in the wake of Egypt’s tumultuous protests, according to his brother. Wael Ghonim, whose LinkedIn profile says he is head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa at Google, hasn’t been heard from since Friday at 6 p.m., his brother Hazem said.
Wael Ghonim’s web postings suggest a deepening engagement with politics. His Facebook page lists opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei as a person he admires, along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs. In mid-January he tweeted that he was traveling to Qatar to participate at an Internet freedom forum hosted by network Al Jazeera.
Later, he sent a tweet that said he was going to join the Egyptian protests despite “all the warnings I got from my relative and friends.”
On Friday, he tweeted: “Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die.”
I think a lot more people are probably dead and missing in Egypt than we are being told. I hope Ghonim will be found.
The Christian Science Monitor asks, “Did Jimmy Carter just throw Obama under the bus?”
Commenting on the week’s tumultuous events in Egypt from the Maranatha Baptist Church near his home in Plains, Ga., the former president who brokered the 1979 peace accord between Egypt and Israel gave a candid personal assessment of Egypt’s embattled leader and said his “guess is Mubarak will have to go.”
President Mubarak has “become more politically corrupt” in recent years and has “perpetuated himself in office,” he told a Sunday school class of 300, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Assessing the popular uprisings sweeping across the region, he said: “This is the most profound situation in the Middle East since I left office” more than 30 years ago.
I sure hope it’s a different bus than the one we’re under, because I don’t want Obama down here with us.
Speaking of throwing people under the bus, Tom Brokaw made a critical reference to Keith Olbermann in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. Here’s Huffpo’s gossipy take on it.
He told the Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal that NBC was better placed than its rivals because of MSNBC.
“Where it got sticky is when our commentators were anchoring political coverage,” he said, in a clear reference to Olbermann. Brokaw was widely known to have complained about Olbermann’s anchoring of campaign coverage during the 2008 race. “Those are, in some ways, incompatible roles,” Brokaw continued. “We worked our way through that.”
Rosenthal then asked Brokaw what he thought of Olbermann’s exit. “You’re not going to get me to go there,” Brokaw said. But when pushed, he said that MSNBC will weather the storm.
He went there.
Did you hear that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for an undercover investigation of the recent Arizona gun show? The New York Times has the skinny.
The investigation, part of an effort by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration to crack down on illegal gun sales nationwide, took place Jan. 23 at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix, officials said.
“The background check system failed in Arizona, it failed in Virginia and it fails in states around the country,” said John Feinblatt, an adviser to Mr. Bloomberg. “If we don’t fix it now, the question is not whether another massacre will occur, but when.”
Private, unlicensed sellers are not required to run federal background checks, but it is a violation of federal law to sell guns to people if sellers suspect they are felons or mentally ill or are otherwise prohibited from buying. In the case of Jared L. Loughner, who is accused of opening fire on the crowd in Tucson on Jan. 8, the gun used in the shootings was bought at a licensed gun dealer, and he passed a background check, the authorities said.
In two instances, the New York undercover officers specifically said before buying a gun, “I probably couldn’t pass a background check,” but were still sold guns, city officials said.
Finally, here’s a fluffy story to go along with the white stuff that a lot of us will be seeing outside our windows today and tomorrow: How Meditation May Change the Brain
…researchers report that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. The findings will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.
M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.
I’m not particularly surprised, but the woman who wrote the article is. Check it out.
Sooooo…. What are you reading and blogging about this morning? Please share!