Wael Ghonim was speaking on NPR in February 2012 about his memoir Revolution 2.0. I thought it was nice to hear his actual words after reading part of the book.  A concept he returned to again was the idea that social media did not make the revolution happen, the people did. In the interview, after he was asked to comment on the role of sites like Twitter and Facebook in the revolution, he spoke about giving credit where it is due. Basically, he is talking about this idea that the power was/is with the people and not necessarily contained in these social media tools. Something else powerful he also talked about was that the revolution started in the streets and not online. Before the reading and before listening to this interview, something I had never considered was the fact that people more heavily associate the Arab Spring with the online/social media movements that happened online, rather than the actual people behind those hashtags/words/pictures etc. that are posted online. To me, until I heard Ghonim say it explicitly, I wouldn’t have thought it was necessary to clarify that the power of the revolution came from the people. I realize though, that especially in this American society, people often both hide behind their screens and don’t think deeply about something that is posted online. That is, think deeply about the face.voice/story behind what is online, unless that contemplation is very guided. So it does make sense that people, especially US citizens with no personal connection to these regions, wouldn’t think deeply about the actual people uprising, and would be comfortable reading the posts and feeling informed that way. This also got me to think about the importance of sites like NPR, because people who listen are able to place a voice or face behind the text in a screen. This is also powerful because hearing directly from Ghonim or others’ mouths, like the Egyptian women in the YouTube videos we saw in class, listeners know their words are not being changed or manipulated by anyone with a certain agenda.


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