How did the Egyptian people overthrow longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak and are the people of Egypt better off today?
I am very excited to speak with WAEL GHONIM, the Egyptian web exec who played a leading role in last year’s Tahrir Square protests. With the first anniversary of those protests and the recent elections in Egypt, we have a lot to talk about.
WAEL GHONIM was a little-known 30-year-old Google manager, unwilling to publicly criticize the Egyptian regime — silenced like many by resignation and the fear of reprisals — until he anonymously launched a Facebook campaign to protest the death of one particular Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. In his new memoir, he tells us – from his experience — why and how the Egyptian people finally rejected 30 years of oppression and found their voice.
Let me read two quotes from WAEL GHONIM: “Social media allow ideas to be shared. They are places where people can unite, Revolutions can begin. A new type of Revolution – Revolution 2.0”
and finally — “People have called me a hero, but that is ridiculous – this has not been a revolution of heroic individuals, but about people coming together to overcome dictatorship.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, oped columnist at the New York Times, and author with his wife, former Times editor Sheryl WuDunn, of HALF THE SKY: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide."
Kristof grew up on a sheep and cherry farm near Yamhill, Oregon. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and then studied law at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with first class honors. He joined the NY Times in 1984. In 1990 Mr. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, then also a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China's Tiananmen Square democracy movement. They were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer for journalism. Mr. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006, for commentary for what the judges called "his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world."
In his column, NICHOLAS KRISTOF was an early opponent of the Iraq war, and among the first to warn that we were losing ground to the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. He was among the first to raise doubts about WMD in Iraq, he was the first to report that President Bush's State of the Union claim about Iraq seeking uranium from Africa was contradicted by the administration's own investigation. His columns have often focused on global health, poverty and gender issues in the developing world. In particular, since 2004 he has written dozens of columns about Darfur and visited the area ten times.
Prior to their newest, HALF THE SKY, Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn are authors of CHINA WAKES: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF A RISING POWER and THUNDER FROM THE EAST: PORTRAIT OF A RISING ASIA.