Author Archives: carolinaengel

Wael Ghonim and the Egyptian Facebook Revolution

Wael Ghonim is another Egyptian activist who utilized Facebook as a tool to organize protests and gain support quickly.  Ghonim organized an online campaign that immediately sparked interest in the demand to oust the country’s president.  The marketing manager rejects the notion that he is a hero, calling those who died during the rallies heroes and martyrs.  In an emotional interview with CNN after Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power, Ghonim stated:

“I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg one day and thank him […] I’m talking on behalf of Egypt. […] This revolution started online. This revolution started on Facebook. This revolution started […] in June 2010 when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians started collaborating content. We would post a video on Facebook that would be shared by 60,000 people on their walls within a few hours. I’ve always said that if you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet. […]” 

Here is the rest of the interview from CNN:

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2011/02/11/exp.ghonim.facebook.thanks.cnn

 

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“Facebook Girl” : Glamour’s Woman of the Year

She is a Woman of the Year because: “In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, women and men stood shoulder to shoulder, demanding freedom and their rights. Women like Esraa insist the genie cannot be put back in the bottle.”
—Christiane Amanpour, who covered the protests in Egypt for ABC News


This quote about Fattah, said by a news anchor covering the protest in Egypt, puts into words how her efforts have released a powerful movement throughout Egypt that was constantly gaining followers and support.

As I was doing research about Esraa Abdel Fattah, I came across countless articles praising her bravery and naming her as Egypt’s icon for modern revolution.  She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, has conducted countless print and TV interviews, and as seen in the article below, was named one of Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year” in 2011.  The article presents how Fattah has also served as a role model for women.

http://www.glamour.com/inspired/women-of-the-year/2011/esraa-abdel-fattah

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“Facebook Girl” and the New Media

Esraa Abdel Fattah was interviewed last year by the organization Human Rights First on how she is using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, in order to rally support for a change in governmental policies.  The video addresses how Fattah has used these mass means of communication in order to organize protests and strikes.  This video also brings up the question of public Internet use and censorship: How far can the media affect social retaliation and uprisings?  Fattah is ambitious and faithful in her use of the Internet:  “We are going to monitor the next presidential elections with new media” (humanrightsfirst.org).

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NPR.com – covering Douglass’ successes and relationships

On the National Public Radio website, literary expert Farah Jasmine Griffin discusses Frederick Douglass’ autobiography and his experiences as a fugitive slave.  She focuses on Douglass’ efforts to create a narrative that focuses on his journey from a slave to a free man in society.  Below is the link to the audio clip:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13751610

Additionally on NPR, host Michael Martin speaks with author John Stauffer about the relationship and commonalities between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  Stauffer presents the idea that Lincoln and Douglass were alike in many ways, despite their different thoughts on how slavery should come to an end, an interesting point of view considering many people do not even know Lincoln and Douglass had any kind of friendship.  Below is the link to the audio clip and the cover image of Stauffer’s book:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100694897

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Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

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“Rebellion’s Organization”

Come on, Come on

Join in the fight

Let’s rally our emotions to new heights

 

With a post and a tweet

We’ve asserted no small feat

We’ve organized a rebellion.

 

Like Frederick Douglass before us

Let’s confer to deter any further violations

Of fairness and security and independence.

 

Like Frederick Douglass before us

Let’s open the door

For people to voice their desire for change.

 

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Filed under Carolina, Our Poetry

“Words Effect Change”

Now my hands are free from the chains,

my mind free from the pains and the games

of those oppressors and supremacists

who tried to take away my life’s emphasis-

my rights and my dignity were held in their reins,

I could not hold back the rage that ran in my veins

and so I discovered that knowledge is power

and words effect change.

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Esraa Abdel Fattah- Egypt’s “Facebook Girl”

In 2008, Esraa Abdel Fattah became one of Egypt’s most renown internet activist and blogger.  She co-founded the April 6th Youth Movement, and started a Facebook group to support workers in an industrial town who were planning to go on strike due to low wages and high food prices.  The group became a popular political movement – at first only 300 people were invited to join the group, but quickly over 77,000 people joined (vitalvoices.org). She was also arrested in 2008 by the government, and during her time in prison she became an icon for human rights movements.

Her Facebook page, Twitter profile, and news correspondence during the 2011 nationwide protests that were calling for the end of Homi Mubarek’s regime aided online organization for protests.  Her use of the social media and technology enabled this information to be accessible and evoke feelings of empowerment to the general public.

Like Frederick Douglass used his speeches and reading skills to empower African-Americans to fight for freedom, Fattah has ignited the human rights movement in Egypt.

Below is a helpful article about Esraa Abdel Fattah’s efforts and timeline of her experience.

http://www.vitalvoices.org/node/2247

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