Egyptian Stars Join the Protests

As many people around the world, I’ve been keeping up with the latest news about recent Egyptian protests with great interest. I found this interesting video on YouTube which is an interview given by Khalid Abo el-Naga, an Egyptian actor, to AlJazeera last week. Khalid Abo el-Naga is not the only star who joined the protests against the government. As Reuters reports (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/05/us-egypt-culture-protests-idUSTRE7142ET20110205), many popular faces met in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Among others, Khalid Abdalla, a British-Egyptian actor, who came to the fore as the protagonist of “The Kite Runner”, the movie director Khaled Youssef, and the composer Ammar El Shrei, all asked for President (well, now ex president) Mubarak to finally step down.

Watching the live interview on the AlJazeera YouTube channel, I realized how joint that country was in standing up for “social justice, political freedoms and political reforms.” Moreover, this interview struck me because it raises an equally all-important issue, the one concerning literacy. Listening to el-Naga’s words made me realize that literacy doesn’t involve only books, encyclopedias, and the like. Or better, it does not anymore. In today’s world, this term has taken on a new meaning. Literacy also refers to the thick connection that “global” social networks like Facebook and Twitter have created, as the interviewee el-Naga also pointed out. I’ve understood that it was mostly through the power of the Web that Egyptian youth could be in touch with each other to plan the most basic things of the protests. Now, it made much more sense to think that when the protest exploded, the first thing the Egyptian government was concerned with was to shut down the Internet, as we also discussed in class last week.

Also, I’m positive that social networking will play a key role in the upcoming self-governing post-protest period as well. Meanwhile, I think we can all join the hectic joy of this victory of both freedom and interactive communication.

posted by Chiara De Luca

 

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