Wael Ghonim, Freed Activist, Energizes Egyptian Protests

02/08/2011 02:21 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

CAIRO -- A young leader of Egypt's anti-government protesters, newly released from detention, joined a massive crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square for the first time Tuesday and was greeted with cheers, whistling and thunderous applause when he declared: "We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime."

Many in the crowd said they were inspired by Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old Google Inc. marketing manager who was a key organizer of the online campaign that sparked the first protest on Jan. 25 to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Straight from his release from 12 days of detention, Ghonim gave an emotionally charged television interview Monday night where he sobbed over those who have been killed in two weeks of clashes.

He arrived in the square when it was packed shoulder-to-shoulder, a crowd comparable in size to the biggest demonstration so far that drew a quarter-million people. He spoke softly and briefly to the huge crowd from a stage and began by offering his condolences to the families of those killed.

"I'm not a hero but those who were martyred are the heroes," he said, breaking into a chant of "Mubarak leave, leave." When he finished, the crowd erupted in cheering, whistling and deafening applause.

Ghonim has emerged as a rallying point for protesters, who reject a group of traditional Egyptian opposition groups that have met with the government amid the most sweeping concessions the regime has made in its three decades in power.

Read more from AP here.

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02/14/2011 4:24 PM EST

Somali Preacher Urges Egypt-Style Revolt

Ahram Online reports:
A spiritual leader of Somalia's Islamist Shebab rebels called for popular Egypt- and Tunisia-style revolts to topple the government.

Sheikh Jama Abdusalam said such uprisings would rid the war-wracked country of a government that he accused of serving Western interests.

"I am urging the people to carry out Egyptian- and Tunisian-style uprisings in Somalia," Abdusalam told Alfurqaan Radio, a Shebab mouthpiece.

Read more here.

02/14/2011 4:21 PM EST

Clinton To Egyptians 'Don't Let Anyone Hijack The Process'

@ AlArabiya_Eng : Clinton to Alarabiya: I say to egyptians: don't let anyone hijack the process #alarabiya #Iran #Egypt #clinton

02/14/2011 4:20 PM EST

Egypt Summary: Today's Events

Egypt's military rulers called for an end to strikes and protests Monday as thousands of state employees, from ambulance drivers to police and transport workers, demonstrated to demand better pay in a growing wave of labor unrest unleashed by the democracy uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak's regime.

The statement by the ruling military council that took power from Mubarak appeared to be a final warning to protest organizers in labor and professional unions before the army intervenes and imposes an outright ban on gatherings, strikes and sit-ins.

Soldiers cleared out almost all the remaining demonstrators from Cairo's Tahrir Square, the giant traffic circle that was turned into a protest camp headquarters for the 18-day revolt. During more than two weeks of round-the-clock demonstrations at the square, protesters set up tents, brought in blankets, operated medical clinics and festooned the entire plaza with giant banners demanding removal of the regime.

Read more here.

02/14/2011 3:51 PM EST

'Rumors' Of More Deaths In Bahrain

The Guardian reports:
There are rumours – and let us stress, just rumours at this point – of more deaths in Bahrain following today's protests.

02/14/2011 3:48 PM EST

France Asked To Freeze Assets Of Egypt Officials

@ felix85 : France says Egypt asks it to freeze possible assets of ex-officials, adding to UK and Germany already today

02/14/2011 2:59 PM EST

Yemen Protests Continue After Concessions By Regime

Ahram Online reports:

A crowd of about 3,000 protesters, mainly lawyers and students, tried to march from Sanaa University to Al-Tahrir square in the city centre, where [Yemen President] Saleh's supporters have been camped since last week, but were prevented by security forces who erected barbed wire, witnesses reported.

In a move to manage the situation President Saleh halted constitutional procedures which may have allowed him to assume the presidency for life, and possibly pave the way for his son, the chief of the Republican Guard, to succeed him.

02/14/2011 2:50 PM EST

Protester In Bahrain Reported Killed By Security Forces

The Guardian reports:

A major development in Bahrain where there are reports that one person has been killed by security forces during a protest:

According to sources in the hospital, and confirmed by Nabeel Rajab from a Bahraini human rights organisation, Ali Abdulhadi al-Mushaima, 27, was shot in the back with live ammunition. Protesters are incensed.

02/14/2011 2:43 PM EST

Dozens Of Iran Protest Clips On YouTube

@ thelede : Live Update: Dozens of Iran Protest Clips on YouTube http://nyti.ms/dG1C5M #Egypt #Bahrain #Iran

02/14/2011 2:42 PM EST

Egypt’s Ruling Generals Meet With Opposition

The New York Times reports:

Two generals sat down Sunday night to talk about their country’s future with seven of the revolution’s young organizers — including the Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim — and the young activists posted their notes on the meeting directly to the Internet for the Egyptian public to see.

“We all sensed a sincere desire to preserve the gains of the revolution and unprecedented respect for the right of young people to express their views,” two of the young organizers, Mr. Ghonim and Amr Salama, wrote in their Facebook posting, with the disclaimer that they were speaking only for themselves. They noted that the generals spoke without any of the usual “parental tone (you do not know what is good for you, son),” and called the encounter “the first time an Egyptian official sat down to listen more than speak.”

Read more here.

02/14/2011 2:22 PM EST

Al Jazerra: Clashes Reported In Iran Protests

@ AJEnglish : Clashes reported in Iran protests: Pro-reformist marches under way in Tehran despite a heavy security presence a... http://aje.me/fqbkTi
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