The Initial Spark Reignites: Wael Ghonim

Wael Ghonim Interview on Dream TV

I couldn’t get the video with the English subtitles embedded – only the Arabic was showing up. I hope you will click on the link above and watch it. It’s very moving and only about 3 minutes long.

Mubarak refuses to step down. This battle is becoming one of sheer will. I feared that the Egyptian democracy movement was losing that will as protesters were growing physically and emotionally weary. Then, Wael Ghonim, the Google executive by day and passionate activist by night, was released by the Egyptian government. Right after he was freed, he granted an interview with Dream TV, an Egyptian “entertainment and lifestyle” television station.

I watched the interview with English subtitles. In that last part of the interview, the host shows pictures of the protesters who were killed during the protest. Ghonim breaks down and sobs. For 12 days, the Egyptian government held him captive, blindfolded the entire time. He did not hear about what had happened after his arrest kidnapping. He was literally kept in the dark, but interrogated about his role in the movement.

Apparently, this interview reignited the protests. The demonstration after his release rivaled the first one in numbers. Housewives, professors, laborers, young and old gathered again. What they saw in Ghonim was an Egyptian with a deep love for his country and fellow citizens. Using technology, he was the initial spark that set Egypt’s desire for democracy ablaze. And his voice helped fan the flames that were dying down.

I was extremely moved by his commitment to his country. Alive in Egypt has done a wonderful service and is true to its mission, Transcribing the Voices of Egypt. The entire interview can be found on its site, divided into 5 parts. It’s lengthy, but worth it.


3 responses to “The Initial Spark Reignites: Wael Ghonim

  • Terrance H.

    I’m not blind to the horrors committed by Mubarak and his repressive regime. Not anymore, that is. I freely admit I spoke without knowing what the hell I was talking about when the protests broke out. I didn’t know anything about Mubarak, other than his attitude toward Israel, which, sadly, was enough for me to defend him. After reading up about him, I’m disgusted with myself.

    But I’m not sure what the solution is. Believe me, if this were South America or some place other than the Middle-East, I would openly advocate for Mubarak’s assassination, or imprisonment. That may sound harsh, but consider what this putz has done to his people; it’s deserved.

    But the reality is that this is the Middle-East. I don’t know what the solution is, or what the United States position should be. I’m not sure I agree with Kendrick, you, or lbwoodgate that the Muslim Brotherhood only has about 30% support. You have to consider that the government wouldn’t tolerate support for what it perceives to be a rival. Now, however, the gloves are off, and the people don’t seem to give a damn what the government says. The field is wide open for the Brotherhood now.

    We’ll just have to wait and see. But I really don’t know what the solution is.

    • SpinnyLiberal

      I know the thought of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over scares a lot of us. I just don’t think they have the support of the majority of the Egyptian people. They certainly don’t have the support of the military.

      This is a tense one to watch, and I hope the people prevail.

      And if either of us knew what the solution is, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be here.

  • Terrance H.

    Spinny,

    I do not believe that those on the Left have been concerned with the prospect of an Egypt controlled by hatemongering radicals. I just don’t believe it. Their reflexive response has been to criticize anyone with even the slightest bit of skepticism regarding the possibility of real democracy in the Middle East.

    I am ashamed of myself for foolishly claiming Mubarak wasn’t a dictator, but my skepticism regrading the uprising is something I will not back away from, and if for no other reason than recognizing Egypt’s strategic importance.

    I don’t know what the solution is, true. But I know the chance of the Muslim Brotherhood having an active role in the Egyptian government far from a mere nightmare; I fear it will be reality.

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