Google ‘very, very proud’ of cyber revolutionary

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 16:23 EDT
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BARCELONA, Spain – Google is “very, very proud” of cyberactivist Wael Ghonim, a young executive at the company who emerged as a leading voice of the Egyptian uprising, company boss Eric Schmidt said Tuesday.

Ghonim, Google?s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, administered a Facebook page that helped spark the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

The 30-year-old also appeared in an emotional television interview shortly after he was released from police custody after 12 days in custody which is credited with re-energising the movement just as it seemed to be losing steam.

“We are very very proud of what Wael Ghonim was able to do in Egypt,” Schmidt said at the mobile phone industry’s annual get-together in Barcelona.

“They were able to use a set of technologies that included Facebook, Twitter and number of others to really express the voice of the people. And that is a good example of transparency. And we wish them very much the best. I have talked to him. We are very very proud of what he has done.”

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Ghonim said the protests which led to Mubarak’s ouster would not have happened without online social networks.

“If there was no social networks it would have never been sparked,” he said.

“Because the whole thing before the revolution was the most critical thing. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without Google, without You Tube, this would have never happened.”

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  • Anonymous

    Wael Ghonim today called for an end to protests and strikes to help rebuild the country’s economy. “If you get paid 70 dollars, this is not the time to ask for 100 dollars,” Ghonim said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday. “If you really care about this country, it is not about you anymore. This is about restoring you know, that stability. This is about sending signals to everyone that Egypt is becoming stable and we are working on that.”

    Ghonim said he met military leaders over the weekend and he believes they are “really sincere” about bringing about the change demanded by the Egyptian people. “They realize the value of business and creating jobs,” the activist said. “We had a half an hour discussion about the challenges of how to get people back to work and how to create jobs. They are aware of the problems.”

    Egypt’s tech-savvy youth, who used the internet and sites such as Facebook and Twitter to organize their protests, could help make Egypt the Silicon Valley of the Middle East, he said. “We are looking at the scene and we are impressed. The high tech community, especially the high tech industry, is one of those industries that can take Egypt to the next step. We can be another India when it comes to high tech,” he added. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-15/ghonim-calls-for-end-to-protests-strikes-to-bring-stability.html)
    Islam Lotfi, a lawyer and member of the Muslim Brotherhood Youth who was also among the organizers of the revolution, said the coalition of young leaders had encouraged the military leaders to move quickly on the amendments so that the country could hold credible elections. Then a new parliament might reopen the question of a broader overhaul. “When we have a good parliament, they should revisit the Constitution but it is wise not to let a new Constitution come out during a military period,” Mr. Lotfi said. “It would be somehow fascist.”

    The military has urged the panel to complete its work in just 10 days, a timetable many considered implausible for a complete overhaul. But members of the panel said they were already quickly moving toward a package of smaller changes that might facilitate fair elections and make it easier for a future parliament to further amend the text.

    Among other things the amendments under discussion would eliminate rules stipulating that only the president can initiate amendments; open up eligibility to form parties or run for office; limit the maximum term that elected officials can serve; establish independent judicial oversight of elections; and remove a clause that allows for the so-called emergency law enabling arrest and detention without charges.

    Mr. Bahgat pointed out that there are differences of opinion on how to fix some of the clauses — for instance, on the criterion on eligibility for president — and he spoke of larger battles looming. “There are people calling for an immediate shift from a presidential system to a parliamentary democracy, to make sure any new president doesn’t become an autocrat.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/world/middleeast/16egypt.html)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TF72KWIG5DGSPE3ZXDK6FX4KTQ Robert Burned

    He didn’t do it. The workers did it, mostly with telephones and fax machines. This petty-bourgeois figurehead is being promoted by capitalist whoremongers who want to make damn sure that nothing like Egypt ever happens here.

  • Anonymous

    If you are so proud of him why did you build an internet for China that the Govt has complete control over?

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Oh, I bet they are. Just you wait and see how they throw him under the bus as soon as the FBI/CIA comes calling in accusing the kid of “terrorism” – Google is one of the biggest threats to privacy and civil rights in the US and anybody that uses them is aiding and abetting their corporaterrorism and deserves whatever they get from Google which will not be a free software upgrade, I guarantee you that.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Thank you for that post. It is consistent with what I’ve been hearing from reliable sources such as Al Jazeera and DemocracyNow! The corporate media is, no doubt, stewing this as a chaotic situation so they can justify whatever their ChristoZionist masters decide to do to regain their control of Egypt.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Not just China. They also did it for Cuba. I bet you’ll never hear anything about that either.

  • Anonymous

    No problem. I might add that this is the same military that ordered a massacre of the Tahrir Square protesters a day before Mubarak resigned (the soldiers disobeyed the order), a fact that has been extremely underreported (nonexistent in MSM, as far as I can tell). This wlcentral.org article has the rest of the story, it is really intense: http://wlcentral.org/node/1298

  • Johnny Warbucks

    I read an assessment on PressTV that doesn’t sound good at all. They highlighted pretty much what you’ve mentioned, the fact that no matter how you cut it, the new boss is the same as the old boss minus Mubarak who was just as figurehead and a middle man between Washington & Tel Aviv.