Ghoneim Galvanises Egyptian Public

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Full interview:

Associated Press Report:

Some in the massive crowd said they were turning out for the first time, moved by Ghonim’s interview or the photos of those killed in police crackdowns on the protests, which have been little seen on TV in Egypt.

“The (Wael) interview showed a face of the truth which the state media tried to cover up for so long,” said a retired army general, Essam Salem. “Many people are coming because they saw the truth.”

Fifi Shawqi, a 33-year-old upper-class housewife [sic], said she came to the Tahrir protest for the first time, bringing her three daughters and her sister.

“I saw Wael yesterday (in the interview) and I cried. I felt like he is my son and all the youth here are my sons,” she said. “I think Wael brought many, many more” to join.

Ghonim provided a relatable, passionate face for a movement that has been tarred in government media as fueled by foreigners. Some in the broader public have grumbled that the protesters were causing turmoil for nothing now that Mubarak has promised not to run again in September elections.

But the protest movement has resisted elevating a sole leader. In fact, many organizers contend its strength lies in its lack of leaders and in its nature as a mass, popular movement. With his release, Ghonim was added to a 10-member coalition of representatives from the various youth organizers to coordinate the protests and push through their demands, said Ziad al-Oleimi, another activist on the committee.

Wael Ghoneim’s interview was also highlighted by Al-Jazeera:


Written by BraveNewEgypt

February 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm

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