The Arab Awakening – Tweets from Tahrir

[New mobile communication technologies such as twitter have been extremely useful for youth, students, and many petty-bourgeois activists in the “Arab Spring” and its many spin-offs in North Africa and in the MiddleEast.  These communication tools have also been recounted as essential instruments, as if there would be no rebellion without tweets, and that is a ridiculous claim.  Additionally, at certain key junctures, the repressive state apparatus has been able to use these new technologies for enhanced surveillance, and at times, when popular over-reliance on twitter was detected by the police, they could systematically shut it off and prevent communications among rebel groups.  Nevertheless, this AlJazeera account of the role of Twitter and Tweets in Tahrir has fascinating insights to one part of the ongoing story of a revolution that has only taken its first step. — Frontlines ed.]

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AlJazeeraEnglish on Feb 19, 2012

Cairo’s ‘Twitterati’ tweeted their revolution for 18 days from in and around Tahrir Square.

Young, urbane and highly-motivated, their tweets revealed the truth of the scale of the uprising which Egypt’s state media sought to hide, and gave a street-level, minute-by-minute account of how the persistence and bravery of the Egyptian people brought down a dictator.

Note: The book ‘Tweets From Tahrir’ by OR Books was the inspiration for this film.

Egypt: Before the ‘Arab Spring’, a determined underground media exposed and discredited Mubarak

Egypt: How We Did It When the Media Would Not

May 19, 2011

On February 11, 2011 Egyptians toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. Blogger and viral video producer Aalam Wassef was one of the many people who worked for years to make it happen. This is first in a series on the daily life of
Egypt’s revolution. It’s a manual on how a civil resistance was built to win.

Egypt: the long shadow of Mubarak and the role of the US

“Long live Egypt’s Supreme Council” — With Mubarak out of power and SCAF taking the reigns, what’s next for the country?
 Joseph Massad
28 Jul 2011
Egyptians have been protesting against the country’s military rulers continuing Mubarak-esque policies [EPA]

Many Egyptians are expressing concerns about the deployment by the ruling Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of the very same political rhetoric previously employed by the Mubarak regime, despite the SCAF’s claim that it is maintaining “neutrality” between “popular” forces; a “neutrality” that it has failed to demonstrate on all fronts.

Indeed, Egyptians who want to transform their uprising into a veritable revolution have responded to the ruling SCAF by refining their definition of the identity of the armed forces. If the famous cry of the anti-Mubarak uprising enjoined the army to stand with the people against the regime, the current cry cleverly differentiates between the SCAF and the army, so that the army rank and file continue to be invoked by the revolutionaries as being on the side of the people – while the SCAF is presented as the political antagonist who seeks to maintain the Mubarak regime with some reforms, albeit without Mubarak.

The army and the revolution

Schisms between the “army” and the revolutionaries started even before the fall of Mubarak, when demonstrations were infiltrated by army soldiers who, we were told, were unknown people, most probably Mubarak state security goons, who allegedly “stole” and donned army uniforms. Evidence of military arrests and torture of demonstrators, including reported stories of “virginity” tests performed on arrested women demonstrators, were later confirmed by military officers. Moreover, Egyptian demonstrators are demanding that all people arrested since the uprising be tried in civilian rather than military courts – and that the continued use of torture by the army be immediately stopped. Continue reading