"This belongs to the Egyptian youth," declared Wael Ghonim in an interview with Egypt's most popular talk show. Ghonim, the internet activist who became a symbol of the repression that characterizes the Mubarak regime when he was released from captivity after nearly two weeks, was of course talking about the now sixteen-day-old pro-democracy movement that has shaken Egypt to its foundation.
Looking at the multitude of young faces in the many powerful images of anti-government protesters that have streamed out of Egypt since the uprising began, there is no doubt that the youth of this country are the ones propelling this revolt. Their numbers are vast. The median age of Egypt's population of 80 million is just 24. As Ghonim said, perhaps as a reminder to non-Egyptians who are dubious of their revolution, it was not the Muslim Brotherhood who took to the streets demanding a better life, but the "'Facebook youth' who went out in the tens of thousands on January 25."
— Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former member the Muslim Brotherhood in Kenya and the author of Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations, on The Brian Lehrer Show.
Give up the romantic notions you have about Egypt becoming a democracy. Seriously, grow up my friends and smell the baklava. The unrest in Egypt isn’t for a democratic government. The unrest in Egypt is spurred by the monied military class which is seeing its wealth shrink globally while all the other operations within the country still move at full tilt. The Suez Canal operations continue unabated this year, but Egypt’s profits on their exports have declined. The Egyptian monied military class (heretofore mentioned as MC’s to give them some Hip-Hop street credibility) wants a facelift. Forget your romantic notions about students and plebians organizing this unrest. That is pure fantasy.
— Reza Aslan, on the Brian Lehrer Show.
This is the sixth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.
In this episode, we get the latest from the streets of Cairo, where protesters have been reenergized after the broadcast of an interview with Wael Ghonim, a young Google executive credited with stoking the pro-democracy movement on the internet, who was freed after being detained for 12 days; we ask Micah Sifry, co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, if Wael Ghonim is a revolutionary leader or merely a messenger of the people; and, in an except from today's Takeaway, Human Rights Watch's Daniel Williams gives his own harrowing account of being held for 36 hours in captivity in Cairo.
(Watch Wael Ghanim's interview with Egypt's DreamTV after the jump.)
Having a constitution and respecting that constitution are clearly not synonymous. Without legitimacy, a constitution is nothing more than words on a page. The importance of a constitutional system has less to do with the actual words in the document than the commitment that the people have to respect it. A large number of Egyptians clearly do not think their Constitution has secured what it promises.
He thinks of himself as just another body among the faceless masses gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding a new era in his nation's politics, and a better future for all the people of Egypt. Yet, it was a heartbreaking interview with Wael Ghonim, broadcast on one of Egypt's satellite channels last night, that drove thousands of Egyptians to march on their Parliament for the first time, refueling Egypt's two-week-old pro-democracy movement.
Ghonim, a marketing executive at Google, has become the face of the internet-based youth movement calling for the ouster of Egypt's autocratic leader, Hosni Mubarak. Using social networking tools like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, Ghonim helped inspire the protests that have brought a government thought to be stable to its knees, and became a symbol of that government's repression when he disappeared for twelve days.
This is the fifth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.
In this episode, get up to date on all the events that transpired over the weekend in Egypt; in an exclusive interview, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times takes us inside the generational divide in the Egyptian Army; and, Bush administration deputy national security advisor Elliot Abrams tells us why he thinks George W. Bush's "freedom agenda" was right for the Arab world.
As the tides of democracy have swirled in Egypt over the past 14 days, many questions have been raised over what the role of the nation's Army will be as Egypt transitions out of a three decade long era of autocratic rule. Widely credited with providing some semblance of order amid the chaos of the last two weeks, Egypt's Army has been portrayed as deeply respected and popular in a country with few credible institutions.
At numerous times throughout Egypt's revolution, the anti-government protesters and the Army have declared their affections for each other. However, deep inside this hallowed institution, a more complicated picture emerges. A significant divide along generational lines in Egypt's military threatens to rankle the evolving nation's future stability.
PHOTOS. Hundreds of protesters from across the tri-state area recently descended on Times Square in a show of solidarity for those demonstrating against President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Demonstrators rallied in front of the United Nations headquarters in late January and gathered at a rally in Times Square last Friday.
Protests in Egypt have consistently shocked the region and the world in recent days, catching President Hosni Mubarak off guard with calls for his ousting. But President Mubarak wasn't the only one surprised by Egyptian activism; the U.S. leadership has also scrambled to adapt to a changing diplomatic situation, in a region where Egypt's stability is seen as incredibly important.
As a nascent revolution rages in Cairo, demonstrations in support of Egyptian protestors continue to take place throughout New York City. Beginning last Saturday with a rally in front of the United Nations headquarters, a week of public organizing was capped off by a large, loud gathering on Friday in Times Square.
This is the fourth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.
There is great alarm in America about a great many things in Egypt, including the treatment of journalists during recent anti-government protests. The ugly truth, however, predates the Egyptian crisis of the last ten days and spills far beyond the streets of Cairo. Eighty-seven journalists were murdered worldwide in 2010. And that's not taking into account the journalists who have been assaulted, kidnapped, harassed or otherwise suffered violence in the line of duty.
— Sheera Frenkel, special correspondent in Jerusalem for McClatchy Newspapers on the Brian Lehrer Show.
"One of the things that a cell phone network allows you to do in particular is to pinpoint the locations of individuals. And one of the things we do know about the Egyptian security state is that they depended on surveillance much more heavily than other countries might… One of the more cynical takes here is that the Egyptian government knew what they were doing. They wanted to shut down communications to take away organizing tools…This turned out not to work…It can’t be a coincidence that they turned the networks on at the exact same moment they began the crackdown that we are now witnessing... For activists that have just been casual users of cell phones, which is basically everybody but a small group of people who took precautions, the government will know their phone numbers, know how to reach them and how to look for them out on the streets...Those activists may be vulnerable.”
—Andrew McLaughlin, former deputy Chief Technology Officer for the Obama Administration discussing why the Egyptian government shut down the internet and suddenly turned it back on, on today’s Leonard Lopate Show. You can hear the full interview here.
This is the third edition of Wave of Change, a new special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and their consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.
In today's episode, we get the latest analysis with Samer Sheheta, professor of Arab politics at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University; we speak with a 25-year-old anti-Mubarak protester who was kept home by violence, but is eager to return; Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, calls for "common sense" in America's foreign policy; and, a Takeaway from this morning's show with one Egyptian who is satisfied with Mubarak's pledge to step down.
After all of the events that have rocked Egypt over the last ten days, January 25 seems like ancient history. But it was just last Tuesday when Egyptians took to the streets to demand their autocratic leader of over 30 years relinquish his power. It was also last Tuesday when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pronounced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government "stable," saying it was "looking for ways to respond to legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people."
— Aladdin Elaasar, former Presidential candidate, on the Brian Lehrer Show