Friday, February 11, 2011

Facebook & Twitter A Huge Part of Egypt's 21st Century Revolution

During the past 18 days, starting on 25 January 2011, many Egyptians in various cities have taken to the streets of that country in protest against President Hosni Mubarak’s rule for the past 30 years. In Cairo hundreds of thousands would meet up in Tahrir (Liberation) Square and Friday meetings would be bigger when people return from their prayer meetings.

The call to protest was made through facebook and twitter in Egypt and the majority of those who heeded the call are under 30 proving that this is a true 21st century revolution.

The power of the internet resulted in now former President Mubarak deciding to interrupt the internet and shutting down access to social media such as facebook and twitter, but he failed dismally in this attempt as Egyptians would send messages from their protest meetings.

During his rule President Mubarak made sure that journalists would be afraid to operate freely and give adequate information to members of the public. From time to time bloggers would find themselves arrested as well.

On 20 November 2006 the BBC reported on the arrest of Rami Siyam who blogs under the name of Ayyoub. The BBC said Siyam was arrested with three friends. The men were known to be critical of President Mubarak’s government in their blog posts.

On 15 January 2010 Global Voices published an article on 20 bloggers that had been arrested in the country. The article says the men were on their way to pay homage to victims of the Naga Hamady massacre who were shot dead after celebrating their Christmas.

Egypt had many similar stories under the presidency of Hosni Mubarak, but the internet - mainly blogs and social media - was to play a huge role in the sharing of information during the demise of President Mubarak.

During the 18 days of protests President Hosni Mubarak tried to discredit satellite television stations and told Egyptians not to listen to them too much. There were also reports of CNN correspondent, Anderson Cooper, being assaulted. Al Jazeera reported that several of their reporters had been arrested in the country and their offices in Cairo were raided.

Now the media can be free in Egypt and I have a feeling that bloggers will again be sharing information on which pathway needs to be taken by Egypt from here onwards.

1 comment:

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