When we first heard that Google marketing exec, Wael Ghonim, was arrested (and released) in the first wave of the
Egyptian uprisings, I didn’t realize he was the original Facebook poster that got the uprisings front and center, and in the face of the world. I wrote several posts referring to those behind the uprisings as the “20-something,” but saw nothing to indicate that Ghonim/Ghuneim was in it from the start. Today the Telegraph UK has an intriguing article written by Richard Spencer, saying that Wael Ghuneim was, indeed, behind it from the start.
Google’s CEO has been saying how proud he is of Wael Ghuneim, the Google marketing executive who set up the original Facebook protest page and was jailed. The CEO clearly knew how to be on the right side of history.
Spencer is talking about the disparity between the very rich and the poor in all dictatorships, an seems to have a warning for the West:
Egypt was one of those places where even tourists could smell the whiff. The other day I interviewed the horsemen of the Pyramids, who led the pro-Mubarak charge in Tahrir Square. Many live in pitiful hovels right in the shadow of their country’s glorious past.
I first came to Egypt in the mid-1980s, and it has been shocking to see Cairo’s 19th-century avenues and picturesque Nile Valley towns sink under a tide of dirt and squalor. It made you wonder about Egypt’s high official growth rates – until you visited the villas in the gated communities of the suburbs, and the industrial enclaves providing low-wage jobs for the poor and hefty profits for the well-connected rich.
This is a lesson for all of us: the free-market policies that have brought prosperity to disparate societies across the world have been hijacked. Tea Party-goers, British student revolutionaries, Tunisian democrats – all feed off resentment at government cronies and their banker friends.
It is very easy to dismiss what is going on in Egypt as the fight for freedom, which in a Muslim country never brings much freedom, and certainly no democracy. Freely choosing the nation’s leaders, and ridding the population of the despised police force was the intention when a small group of 20-somethings met in a home and posted a rallying call on Facebook. Receiving an overwhelming response, other factions quickly inserted themselves into the action on the streets.
The anti-government protesters began as a small group of 20-somethings, meeting in the home of a friend of Mohamed ElBaradei. The young “freedom fighters,” as they are referred to, said they chose ElBaradei to represent them to the U.S. They chose ElBaradei, who as the world’s nuclear watchdog, lied and betrayed us all, letting Iran successfully achieve their nuclear ambitions. They chose ElBaradei who then embraced the Muslim Brotherhood.
The article also says the United Arab Emirates are preparing “a retirement palace” for Hosni Mubarak and his family, who are believed to be at their resort in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.