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REVOLUTION 2.0 by Wael Ghonim

REVOLUTION 2.0

The Power of the People Is Greater than the People in Power: A Memoir

By Wael Ghonim

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-77398-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A demonstration of the power of social networking by a Google engineer named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2011.

As the head of marketing for Google Middle East and North Africa, Ghonim was so outraged by the State Security's beating to death of a young Egyptian named Khaled Mohamed Said that he created the Facebook page Kolona Khaled Said (“We Are All Khaled Said”). The website helped sparked the revolution ending Hosni Mubarak's presidency. Here, in sometimes hour-by-hour detail and with ample and extensive quotes from Facebook, the author recounts the events from its appearance in June 2010 to February 2011, when Mubarak stepped down. He also documents his own transformation from passive critic of the Mubarak regime to motivated activist whose "computer keyboard had become a machine gun, firing bullets with every keystroke.” The response to his page was immediate, and the numbers grew rapidly, establishing the site as a major voice of the Internet generation. From reading its posts, people realized that they were not alone in their fears and frustrations, and they began to add their comments, contribute content share in decisions about what actions might be taken. Ghonim credits the Tunisian revolution with finally giving young Egyptians the confidence to take to the streets. His own fears about concealing his identity were justified: He was arrested, blindfolded and handcuffed and interrogated in isolation for 12 days. Ghonim's Facebook page was not alone, however. Hundreds of other sites were launched to collect and disseminate news and images, and he credits these and Al Jazeera satellite TV and CNN with keeping the story of the Egyptian revolution alive. Questions remain: Is the revolution really over, or is another one against Egypt's entrenched military just beginning. If so, what role will social media play this time?

A remarkable personal testament that will be cited by future historians of both Facebook and the Arab Spring.