by: Wael Ghonim
Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian activist hailed by observers worldwide as a hero and one of the leaders of the Egyptian uprising, talked to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and thanked the people of Iran for organizing a demonstration on 14 February in solidarity with the people of Egypt and Tunisia, and thanked the Iranian civil rights movement.
Ghonim played a major role in organizing the protests that have shaken Egypt for the past two weeks. His Facebook page is widely credited with inviting Egyptians to their first public protest on 25 January. Wael Ghonim has appeared with a green wristband during his public speeches and interviews. As the peaceful protests after the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran came to be known as the “Green Movement,” Ghonim’s green wristband has become a source of interest for Iranians.
When asked by the Campaign whether the motivation behind his green wristband is Iran’s Green Movement, he said: “That was just a coincidence, but I’m happy you guys made the connection!”
“I would tell Iranians to learn from the Egyptians, as we have learned from you guys, that at the end of the day with the power of people, we can do whatever we want to do. If we unite our goals, if we believe, then all our dreams can come true,” is the prominent Egyptian activist’s message to Iranians on the threshold of the 14 February demonstrations.
Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who took time off from his job to be in Cairo during the protests, was freed last Monday after being held by Egyptian authorities for 10 days. He is one of the best known speakers for the Egyptian people’s movement.