Monday, February 14, 2011

Salaam Wael Ghonim !!!

I salute the young Google Marketing Executive Wael Ghonim, whose social-media expertise played a major role  in igniting the anti- government protests, by creating a face book page “ We all are Khaled Said” along with Amr Salma which today has more than 8,00,000 fans. I salute him for helping a new type of social capital among youth in Egypt who took  to the streets  in thousands  to protest poverty, rampant unemployment, government corruption and autocratic governance of President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for 30 years-ultimately leading to the historical change in the form of stepping down of President Mubarak.
I salute him for creating a new space of activism- on line activism –which is intrinsically linked and energising the real time protests. He has brought down the distinction of digital savvy young educated class, known hitherto for being confined to its passive self obsessed lives and pursuit of comfort,  with the suffering millions of the country. Hope this could be a model for other countries too.
Roger Cohen in  NY Times(10th Feb,2011) outlines the significance of this revolution in Egypt -“This is a seismic event in a long-dormant Arab world, reflecting at last the modernizing urges of the region’s overwhelmingly young populations. They are questing, Face book- and Twitter-empowered, to become citizens rather than cowed subjects; they have learned that the utopias proposed by fanaticism are empty.

Ghonim  was arrested , kept in blind folded isolation  and tortured probably for 12 days  by Mubarak government while he was at the scene of demonstrations in central Cairo .I salute him for his words which he spoke just after the release “Please don’t turn me into a hero. I’m not a hero. The heroes are the ones who were out on the street.” This captures the ground reality and why Ghonim deserves our salutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment