Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An alternative view on the Egyptian revolution; ICA not so much?

Below is a response to the above article found in the comments section.  It's by "anon masri" and it says the ICA portion of the Egyptian revolution was not the important part.  At the risk of being an arm chair debutante, I'll disagree a bit.  A good portion of the organizing for the protests happened on the Internet.  Useful information was spread through the Internet and cell phones (while they were working).  I don't think you can take one portion of that multi-day protest and say THAT is the important part.  You have to say that each person's contribution was important.  Some people may have played more pivotal roles, such as anon masri did helping to keep the thugs out of Tahrir Square.  But I don't think he has the right to say the contributions of other protesters was less than his contribution.

* * * *

I respect that you are all trying to figure out how social media can help us educate and empower the people.
My personal experience proved to me that Mr. Gladwell was more correct than he knows. I believe that social media will have a negative effect on empowering the people going forward.
I am a New Yorker. Was born in Egypt and love it so when I heard about the revolution I bought the first ticket I could get. I was there for the pivotal day of the revolution Feb 2nd. The western media calls it the “battle of the camel” That is a pitiful, informative and racist label.
Feb 2nd was the day the defenders of Tahrir Sq held back the Bultagahyah and saved the revolution. Over 100 Egyptian Freedom fighters died that day alone in Tahrir sq yet no one talks about it. All we hear is rev 2.0. camels and babies named Facebook. I am disgusted by that.
We have all seen the pictures of Egyptians wearing make shift helmets and armor. That was to keep us alive from the hail storm of rocks raining down on us from Mubarak’s bultahgayah. Bultahgayah means paid thugs. Mubarak sent a horde of released prisoners under the command of his plain clothes police. The thugs had rocks and moltovs, the police had machetes and later we found out guns. The horses and camels were just a side show early on. The real fight went into the early morning.
We fought them back for hours. There were thousands of them and only about a thousand of us and by the early morning our numbers were very thin. several hundred were wounded and over a hundred killed.
Everyone there was fighting. I saw a guy on a wheel chair throwing rocks. The women helped tremendously as they played the part of messengers. They saw when the bultahgayah would try and surprise us by breaking through a thinly guarded street and yelled to signal us. We would all run to back them up and keep the bultahgayah from breaking into the square.
We made barricades from trash, broke off the street to make rocks, carried them to the front lines and battled all night like that. it got so desperate that everyone started screaming about jihad. We thought were were going to die, They were wearing us down and if we didn’t get help they would take the sq, kill us and clean up the mess before morning. The end of the revolution.
Thankfully we got a big break and were saved and you’ll never guess by who. Sure as hell was NOT internet related.
Wael Ghonim is about as qualified to speak about the revolution as an Egyptian Expat living abroad, which is what he was and still is. He posted to his FB page from Dubai and the only reason we speak of him now is because he got arrested while hailing a cab in Cairo. His activity with the revolution was purely on Facebook and blindfolded in a jail cell. Naturally all he knows is the internet. Take what he says with a grain of salt. There is a reason the speakers kicked him off stage in Tahrir. Many paid for their lives to save the revolution and many paid with their lives to start it, yet he keeps talking about facebook and 2.0 bs.
The internet as it is now doesn’t help people mobilize, it prevents them from mobilizing. This revolution went into high gear when the internet was taken down. It forced people to get off the pc and hit the streets. Imagine that!
The psychology of the internet and social media will only hold back any true democratic movement now. Gladwell was right. I’ve got the scars to prove it.
All social media hipsters who want to argue this point, put the keyboard down, go walk outside and get into a fight. Then come back and tell me how much your tweets and status updates helped.

No comments: