By Osama Diab
Social networking and blogging voices the dreams and aspirations of the young and middle-class in Egypt, leaving other underrepresented groups as marginalised as ever.
Friday 25 November 2011
News of the prominent and outspoken Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy’s arrest and assault, which left her with two broken wrists, spread around the twittersphere at something approaching the speed of light, and then was picked up and covered by most major news outlets. Of course, this level of attention is unsurprising as Eltahawy is not only a brave journalist and campaigner, she is also well-known and admired both among Arab secularists and among liberals in the West.
When Alaa Abdel-Fattah, the Egyptian political activist and blogger, was arrested, my Facebook newsfeed, in a matter of minutes, was dominated by posts condemning his arrest. Profile pictures were changed to a Guevara-style silhouette version of his picture in solidarity with the young activist. He was quickly portrayed as the ultimate freedom fighter and the symbol of resistance. He indeed is. Abdel-Fattah comes from a family of political activists and has been an active force of resistance against Mubarak’s tyrannical rule for nearly a decade. He extensively blogged and participated in numerous protests against the ousted and the current regimes.
This article is published here with the author’s consent. ©Osama Diab. All rights reserved.
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Tags: alaa abdel-fatah, arab world, democracy, egypt, facebook, gender, internet, khaled said, mina daniel, mona eltahawy, online activism, political activist, poverty, revolution, social media, social networking, twitter, united states, young people