Asmaa Mahfouz أنا نازلة يوم 25 عشان كرامتي كمصرية

The only power you have on this planet is the power of your decisions. — Paulo Coelho

Come down to Tahrir Square on 25 January and defend my dignity.

It was a simple request: Come down to Tahrir Square on 25 January and defend my dignity.

Are you men cowards? If not, then be there and stand with me.

Posted 18 January. 26-year-old Asmaa Mahfouz is a founding member of the 6 April Youth Movement.

She posted a second video on the eve of 25 January outlining her expectations. 14-year-olds had been preparing fliers and posters, 60-year-olds had been helping. Fliers were being distributed everywhere. This was a movement by the people, not politicians.

What was amazing was that Asmaa Mahfouz made no attempt to hide who she was.

25 January was the beginning of the end.

The day after 25 January, Asmaa Mahfouz posted a third video. On that day people had treated each other with respect.

Today, we have seen ever more people come out onto the streets. It coincided with the release of Google Exec and Facebook Activist Wael Ghonim on Monday who had been detained for 12 days since the uprising began. He was arrested 28 January, the Day of rage. He was behind one of the facebook pages telling people to take to the streets. It was about Khaled Said, who was a young Egyptian who was beaten to death by police and sparked protests at the time and has been a kind of a symbol, a martyr, of this uprising.

There has been widespread harassment of journalists. Ironically, the only one known to have been killed, was Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud, a reporter for the state-owned newspaper Al Ta’awun. He was shot on 28 January when he tried to use his phone to film riot police as they fired tear gas canisters at protesters. His colleagues had to call three times for an ambulance. When an ambulance finally arrived, they refused to take him to hospital because he was shot. He spent a week in the hospital before he died on 4 February. On Monday, journalists, family and friends held a symbolic funeral in Cairo, marching from the Journalists’ Syndicate to Tahrir Square holding an empty coffin.

297 people have been killed according to Human Rights Watch.

On Sunday, Ayman Mohyeldin, the Cairo bureau chief for Al Jazeera English, was detained by Egyptian police and held for seven hours. Inside the jail, Mohyeldin witnessed rampant police abuse. “We saw the military slap detainees, we saw them kick detainees, we saw them punch them,” Mohyeldin said. “One of the soldiers that I was observing had with him a small Taser gun.”

The Mubarak regime has attempted to silence Al Jazeera. Despite its journalists being arrested and threatened, its offices set on fire and its satellite system cut off, Al Jazeera’s news coverage of the popular uprising has been unchallenged by other news outlets and is battling Egypt’s pro-Mubarak TV outlets for delivering truth to Egyptians. “I think Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English have something important to offer. They’re offering the viewers around the world a context that may sometimes be missing from a lot of Western and foreign media,” Mohyeldin says, who was detained by security forces for questioning on Sunday. “More importantly, they’re offering the viewers a view of this country that I think is very hard to get in the absence of less and less media. So, if they were to take Al Jazeera off the air and silence us completely, it would be a great disservice to humanity, and particularly to information.”

It was the action of the on-line community that has got many of the detainees released.

In contrast with Al Jazeera, the state TV has been a laughing stock, those on the streets are agents working for Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Israel, US, you takes your pick. No mention of course that Mubarak is a US-Israeli puppet. Many who work in the state media have themselves taken to the streets, unable to stomach this garbage.

It is not only in Egypt that Al Jazeera is silenced. US citizens should be asking why in the land of the free that they cannot watch Al Jazeera. Maybe they will then learn the true story of the protests, not the regurgitated Israeli bullshit that the Middle East will collapse in anarchy and chaos and Egypt will turn into another Islamic fundamentalist state.

We are told the tourist industry is suffering. Talking to a tour operator today I said it must be a nightmare for them. To be told no, for the coastal resorts it was business as usual.

Hosni Mubarak and his corrupt cronies show know sign of leaving. They have too much to lose.

Egypt in revolt
Egypt Burning
Protests swell at Tahrir Square
“People Are Determined to Stay Until Mubarak Leaves”
Asmaa Mahfouz & the YouTube Video that Helped Spark the Egyptian Uprising
“The Heroes are the Ones in the Street”: Google Exec and Facebook Activist Wael Ghonim on His Release After 12 Days in Egyptian Jail
Shooting the Messenger
Wael Ghonim relaunches the revolution
WikiLeaks: Israel’s secret hotline to the man tipped to replace Mubarak
Suleiman: The CIA’s man in Cairo
Omar Suleiman ‘Demonized’ Muslim Brotherhood: WikiLeaks
A private estate called Egypt

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