Monday, April 11, 2011

Sorry it's been a while/ Egyptian Revolution

 I think it's been like a week since I posted last, I've been busy because of the CWA. The conference on world affairs is a conference held in Boulder every year with guests from all over the world in all kinds of specialties. They sit on panels that are loosely related to their specialties, and bring a different perspective to many important issues in the country and world.

Egyptian activist Gigi Ibrahim
One of the most interesting talks I saw was by a girl, only 24 years old, named Gigi Ibrahim. She lives in Egypt, and was one of the original activists and protestors in the Egyptian revolution. She talked about how long before the revolution, she saw how bad things were in Egypt under Mubarak. Because the media is censored there, and there is no real independent media source, any protest or plan for protest would never be published. So, to be able to participate in the protests, you had to know someone who knew the details. If you didn't, it was likely that you'd never hear about it happening at all. Through a professor at her university, Gigi got in contact with a small group of revolutionaries who set up protests in Cairo. She attended every one for a year, using the internet to set up meeting places, times, plans, and trying to get more people to join. She said every time, they would start at the edges of the city and call for people to join them in protest. Every time the people would ignore them, and they would end up alone in the middle of Cairo, the same 100 or so people every time.
When this really started to change was when the man in Tunisia burnt himself to death after being mistreated by a police officer. From there, the protest in Tunisia started, and soon tehy had overthrown their oppressive dictator. This started to give the people of Egypt hope that they could do the same.
It wasn't long after this that Mubarak shut off Facebook and Twitter, then the whole internet, then cell phone companies. People couldn't communicate with each other, and protests couldn't be arranged anymore. But, Gigi and some others were able to get on Twitter using Tor and a bridge and organize their group to action.
The next time Gigi and her fellow revolutionaries protested, they started at the edge of the city like always, calling people to arms. For the first time in her life, people listened, and flooded into the streets in thousands. Everyone was finally tired of letting their government walk all over them and make them feel powerless.
When they got to the building where they were going to protest, the cops started shooting the group with rubber bullets and tear gas. There were enough people and they were angry enough that they rushed the police officers and established a place in the square. The power was finally back with the people. After some brutal fighting, Gigi getting shot with a rubber bullet in the back, buildings burning, and many people getting killed, Mubarak finally stepped down.
This victory would have been a complete fantasy for most Egyptians just a month before it was achieved. Gigi and her group of protestors knew that the power always lies with the people, and without that knowledge and hope that things can change, we are at the whim of violent dictators like Mubarak. People need to realize that this is their  life, and their country. If we want the government to treat us better, it is up to us. Nobody is going to do it for us. Obama doesn't have our best interests in mind and neither does anyone else. We have to be the voice of the people because we are the people. Revolution is in our hands, we just have to believe.
These days, Gigi has over 9000 followers on her Twitter including president Obama. Egypt is working on rebuilding their country the way they want, and people finally have a voice again. They should be an inspiration to us all to take back the power, and tell the government how we want it to run. 


  1. cool, it would be interesting to speak with that Gigi girl.

  2. The world needs a change to say the least. It's too bad people want a martyr and a statue not for any sacrifices themselves.

  3. I had the privilege of hearing Gigi talk, as well! Not only was she articulate and knowledgeable, but she has an AMAZING strength of character and gumption. Like you said -- she's only 24, but her bio was quite impressive for such a short time in the field! She is truly an inspiration. Great write-up, Kevin!

  4. Interesting, would like to hear more from that girl

  5. she is one of the most inspiring persons of earth!