Wael Ghonim, the Google marketing executive in the Middle East and North Africa, was freed yesterday after being held by the Egyptian government for nearly two weeks. Today, he was back in Tahrir Square demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. An NPR reporter credits Ghonim with having “galvanized” the crowd with not only his presence, but a moving speech. “We are beautiful people,” Ghonim said, according to one translation.”We have to restore dignity to all Egyptians. We have to end corruption. No more theft. Egyptians are good people.”
Ghonim also said he was “ElShaheeed,” the mysterious Facebook user who started the online group partially credited with triggering the wave of protests, now on their fifteenth day. “Actually, I did the easiest thing, which was writing,” Ghonim said yesterday. “At the end of the day, it was about the power of the people.”
“I want to tell families who lost their sons this is not our fault. This is the fault of those clinging to power,” Ghonim said in an emotional television interview.