On January 25 thousands of Egyptian protesters gathered in Cairo and other major cities, calling for reforms and demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Followed by The “March of Millions” on the 28th of January, which marks the spectacular emergence of a new political society in Egypt. This uprising brings together a new coalition of forces, uniting reconfigured elements of the security state with prominent business people, internationalist leaders, and relatively new mass movements of youth, labor, women’s and religious groups. President Hosni Mubarak lost his political power on Friday, 28 January. On that night the Egyptian military let Mubarak’s ruling party headquarters burn down and ordered the police brigades attacking protesters to return to their barracks. Over the past 13 days my life and every Egyptian’s life has taking a surreal turn, a turn of uncertainty, anxiousness and hope for a change.
With the growing youth population that became well organized, social and internet-coordinated movements have become very important. Over the past three years Internet based social and political activism took a shape in Egypt. With group like 6th of April Youth Movement – حركة شباب 6 إبريل and We are all Khaled Said, young activists used Facebook groups as a platform to reached out to other frustrated youth and encourage them to be part of their cause. These very Facebook groups were responsible for organizing the 25th of January protest, which ignited the revolution in Egypt. That is the main reason that explains why the government shut down the Internet in the whole country on the 26th of January.
I found myself completely glued to my computer for the past 13 days. Especially after the Internet was shut down in Egypt. I felt it was my duty to mediate the revolution to the rest of the world. I started calling friends in Egypt and posting their news on Facebook and tweeter, shortly after I realized that there was so many people, Egyptian and non-Egyptian doing the same thing. Organizing demonstration in solidarity with the people in Egypt. Circulating articles, videos and photos of the revolution. Suddenly there was a Facebook and Twitter community dedicated to get the news across.
My question here is how much social networks helped starting off the revolution? Moreover how did it help its visibility in the international community when the Egyptian protesters were out of touch with the rest of the world?