The revolutions sweeping the Middle East in 2011 were unlike any the world had ever seen. Brutal regimes that had been in power for many decades were suddenly swarmed by unstoppable mobs of freedom seekers. Now, one of the key figures behind the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and presents lessons for all of us on how to unleash the power of crowds.
Wael Ghonim was a little-known 30-year-old Google executive in the fall of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of an Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s followers expanded quickly and moved from online protests to nonconfrontational public gatherings. Then, on January 14, 2011, they made history when they announced a revolution. Over 350,000 friends clamored to join. On January 25, as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for 12 days of brutal interrogation - and when he emerged and gave a speech on national television, the protests grew even more intense. Four days later, Mubarak was gone.
The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us: Forget the past. Don’t plan ahead. Let the crowd make its own decisions. Welcome to Revolution 2.0.
Wael Ghonim was born in Cairo and grew up in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, earning a degree from Cairo University in 2004 and an MBA from the American University in Cairo in 2007. He joined Google in 2008, rising to become head of marketing for Google Middle East and North Africa. He is currently on sabbatical from Google to launch a nongovernmental organization supporting education and technology in Egypt.
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Inspiring Real-time Modern History
- M. DeFrawi
It is an excellent book showing how the revolution was not planned and gave me insight why it did not succeed in achieving its goals, the way events folded shows how the youth in Egypt where full of hope and have noble ideas but lacking leadership and organization. It gave me peace knowing what really happened and understanding now more why it failed (I read it in 2015)
I recommend the book