The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir
By Wael Ghonim
The revolutions sweeping the Middle East in 2011 were unlike any the world had ever seen. Brutal regimes that had been in power for many decades were suddenly swarmed by unstoppable mobs of freedom-seekers. Now, one of the key figures behind the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and presents lessons for all of us on how to unleash the power of crowds.
Wael Ghonim was a little-known 30-year-old Google executive in the fall of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page's followers expanded quickly and moved from online protests to non-confrontational public gatherings. Then, on January 14, 2011, they made history when they announced a revolution. Over 350,000 friends clamored to join. On January 25, as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation - and when he emerged and gave a speech on national television, the protests grew even more intense. Four days later, Mubarak was gone.
The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us: Forget the past. Don't plan ahead. Let the crowd make its own decisions. Welcome to Revolution 2.0.
"No matter how closely we followed this extraordinary exercise of human rights in the news - or on Facebook - Ghonim's there-at-the-creation memoir should be a revelation." - Library Journal
"A remarkable personal testament that will be cited by future historians of both Facebook and the Arab Spring." - Kirkus Reviews
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Wael Ghonim was born in Cairo and grew up in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, earning a degree from Cairo University in 2004 and an MBA from the American University in Cairo in 2007. He joined Google in 2008, rising to become Head of Marketing for Google Middle East and North Africa. He is currently on sabbatical from Google to launch an NGO supporting education and technology in Egypt.
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