Egyptian Google exec turns to building new society
April 25th, 2011

WIRED’s Epicenter blog reports today: Wael Ghonim Leaving Google To Launch Tech NGO in Egypt. The article about Ghonim explains:

“[He has] decided to take a long term sabbatical from @Google & start a technology focused NGO to help fight poverty & foster education in #Egypt,” Ghonim, 30, wrote in a Twitter message over the weekend. . . .

Ghonim credited Facebook for being the “spark” that helped ignite the revolution, and Twitter for being a crucial way for the protesters to communicate to the outside world.

Last week, Ghonim was named to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In his Time citation, written by Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ghomin was credited with understanding that “social media, notably Facebook, were emerging as the most powerful communication tools to mobilize and develop ideas.”

“By emphasizing that the regime would listen only when citizens exercised their right of peaceful demonstration and civil disobedience, Wael helped initiate a call for a peaceful revolution,” ElBaradei wrote.

Although the young activist was criticized by some of his compatriots for receiving too much credit for the Egyptian uprising, he insisted throughout that he did not want to be “the face of the revolution,” as he tweeted on February 11th, the day Mubarak left office.

But by then, it was already too late.

In an appearance at Stanford University last Friday, Ghonim said that although Mubarak had been toppled, the most difficult work remained — building a new society. . . .


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