Posts by: Mohamed ElGohary

An Egyptian veteran blogger.Global VoicesLingua manager.

Yahoo Groups violations?

Last week I was added to a Yahoo group on my Gmail, that seemed of a spammy nature, not to mention the action itself is considered spam. I reported the group to Yahoo and this is what I got in reponse:

We appreciate your report of this incident in Yahoo! Groups. We will
investigate your report and take appropriate action as per our Terms of
Service (TOS). For further details about the Yahoo! TOS, you can visit:
Read More…

The moment? Or your past, future and legacy?

There are many times in life, you ask yourself, is it really worth it?You ask this when you see someone die, when you see the outcome of an aweful bloody struggle. When your passion for something just dries up. When your passion for someone just dries up. When you suffer neglect after giving away so much. When you suffer betrayal after giving away so much. When you are in the dark for so long that you forget the mere existence of light, that when someone mentions it you can’t even recognize the meaning.
Read More…

Random thoughts

For the first time I just listened to a blog post, a podcast, narrated by a dear friend. A warm voice, emotional music, giving me so much nostalgia about so many chances I missed, skills I could have developed, people I could have made friends, places I wanted to be attached to. How I thought of many things so lightly and how I realize now how important they really are. Read More…

Autoshare Enable on Twitter does not work

I’m been a big fan of Youtube autoshare option for a long time now, it saves me all the fuss of sharing Youtube videos to my networks (Mainly Google Reader, Facebook, Twitter). Recently YouTube-Twitter auth just suddently stopped working. I keep re-entering the password and it just returns a 500 error with a warning message: “It appears twitter is not accepting requests”.

Then I found this:

Why Google doesn’t respond to issues like this? This is NOT the first time Google leaves clients (who do not pay for their services, coughJAIKUcough). Does anyone has a solution for that?

Wael Ghonim interview on Dream TV – with English Translation



Wael Ghonim, a fine young Egyptian, who works as a Google executive went missing on January 27, then he was freed yesterday. Here were his first words when he reached home.

Afterwards, he appeared on the Egyptian TV channel, DreamTV for a long interview about what happened to him:

Part I:


Mona ElShazly:


I will tell you a short story about what happened , before the . Let me begin with Wednesday. In that Wednesday, we thought that episode to be the last one, for some conditions which some viewers know, or don’t know. We were talking about what was happening in , about , the Internet blockade, Facebook and the anger of youth.

We made a telephone interview, with a genius geek young man about Facebook and the youth strong feeling of hate towards what happened in Tuesday, and that what brings life to them was cut off. This young man is called Wael Ghonim.

He called us and talked about some technical issues. He was emotional because he is one of many who use the Internet and who goes to demonstrations, and this is not something shameful, and it didn’t prevent us from talking to him on air.

After the air interview, the day after, he sent me an SMS on my personal mobile phone, he was apologizing that he was too excited in the episode, and I replied: Never mind, Wael. Good luck.

At Thursday, the 27th, we talked on the phone, because the day after was expected to be a big day with major demonstrations. I was checking on him, and we talked about that the Internet was cut off, and there is a public unrest for that. The call ended with me wishing him “Good luck, and take care of yourself, Wael.”

All of this is very normal and it happens among all people. In Friday, all means of communications was down. So no one was talking to anybody. It became very logical to find many people who don’t know their friends’ and loved ones’ whereabouts, and this closure of communication is the main reason that they can’t reach them.

Friday passed, along with Saturday and Sunday, and Monday, then I was surprised to find a call with a unknown number, a number not from Egypt. He said: “Mrs. Mona, I’m Naguib, I’m Wael’s colleague in Google, and Wael is missing since Friday.” I said: “How did you know my number, Mr. Naguib?” He responded: “I’m his best friend, and I know he called you last Thursday 1 or 2 am. So I didn’t only think you might know anything about him, but I thought you might help me finding him.” Of course I was skeptic because I don’t know Naguib and I don’t know where is Wael, and I was surprised he was missing.

He said: “I was able to enter his personal account, because I’m a close friend and I have his password, and I got your number hoping that you might help me.”

I got Wael’s full name, but Naguib asked me to, he is Syrian by the way, “please don’t mention this to the media because we don’t know where is Wael yet. We are afraid that talking to the media might hurt him in a way or another.” I said “Ok I won’t say anything”.

I tried to call everybody I know who can help this missing young man. The answers were always we are not detaining anybody in the first place, we don’t have this name. I said: “Please search his name, there should be some names you forgot, specially with all the chaos happened Friday made some people forgot somewhere. Maybe there were in some place they can’t eat or drink. Maybe you are putting them under custody.”

We seek in all means possible and I know I was not alone in this search. Actually there were a lot of people, not only Wael’s friends, but people who are online on Facebook, his friends and respectful colleagues in Google, until it was officially proved that Wael Ghonim is missing, and since that moment we began to discuss the matter publicly, and demanding the release of not just Wael, but all the detainees. Those people who didn’t have any special desires but just going to demonstrations calling for dignity for Egypt.

Yesterday we knew that there is a promise to release Wael and the detainees with him. I didn’t believe that, because till today morning, I was talking to important people, who are supposed to know many things happening in this country. I was asking them about Wael, and they said this name is not in our records. But it was not appropriate to spread this frustration in yesterday’s episode, and not even today.

Until 7 pm, my mobile rang, and the name appeared on the screen, Wael Google. He talked very quickly. I asked him, “Are you Wael or are you someone who took his phone?” He said “No this is Wael.”

I asked him “What happened, what did they do to you?” I don’t know anything, what I know is that Wael will be with us after a couple of minutes, telling us what happened since Friday till now. From the moment he was detained till the moment he was released today from State Security.

Wael Ghonim or Wael Google, as I’m saving in my mobile contact list, will be with us after a couple of minutes, and I don’t know what will he say. What is important is that he is released, and we will listen, whatever he will say.

P.S. He was in the car with Dr. Hossam Badrawy, who is the Secretary General of the National Democratic Party, who seems to be the man responsible for Wael’s release after exceeding the announced deadline for his release, be with us.

This is one of the episodes mixing personal and professional aspects.

Part II:



Wael Said Abbas Ghonim, I memorized the name for the so many times I mentioned it while asking for him, while trying to know if he is alive or dead, he is detained or missing, I knew his family suffered a lot searching for him in hospitals and asking everybody. Suddenly, today, Wael was released from State Security, after being in custody in very vague conditions. Since Friday the 28th of Jan, till now (Feb the 7th).


Thanks God for your safety Wael.

Wael Ghonim:

Thank you

The first thing I want to say to all people, to the mothers and fathers of those who were dead (in the demonstrations): My condolences, and may God accept them (in Heaven), be it they are normal citizens, officers, solders. Anyone who died, he is a martyr.

I don’t want to say I apologize, because nobody in the demonstrations ever thought of just destroying anything, not to mention kill a human being. We are all youth who love Egypt, and we did what we did because we love Egypt. The first thing we wrote: We have rights to call for. And our rights won’t be earned via destroying others’ property, public or private. Our rights will be earned when we demand it. Our hopes that all people will go to the streets and demand their rights, that’s it. This condolences is a duty, because those people sacrificed their blood. I want to tell you that in Egypt we like to make heroes, but I’m not a hero, I just slept for 12 days, the real heroes are the ones in the streets. The heroes are those who went to demonstrations, those who sacrificed their lives, who were beaten, detained, and exposed to danger. I was not a hero, unfortunately, what happened made me regret I wasn’t with the people. I came back from UAE for attending this demonstration. I even lied to people at work, and I told them there is something personal and urgent, something happened to my father, and I need 6 days off. I had many days off available. They accepted my request. And I came to Egypt because I had to be with all the people.

Before beginning this interview I wanted to correct some information you mentioned. First Naguib is my colleague in the UAE, secondly he is not a Syrian.


I’m sorry, his Levantine Arabic accent made me think that he is Syrian.


He is Jordanian. Do you know why I’m explaining this? Because we are not traitors, Mona. We are not traitors, we love Egypt.

We are not under anyone’s agenda. There are very rich people among us, living in the best houses, riding the best cars. I don’t NEED anything from anybody, and I didn’t WANT anything from anybody. Everything done exposed everyone’s life to danger, the kind of danger we can’t imagine and don’t know. We merely played our part. We will fight for our rights. This is our country. So everyone of us was exposed to danger. We didn’t do what we did for some private agenda. Those who went to the streets and planned didn’t want anything. I didn’t want anything.

Do you know what was the thing hurting me most while I was detained? That the public will know that I’m the We Are All Khaled Said Facebook fan page admin. I really didn’t want anyone to know I’m the admin, because I’m not the hero. I was just typing on the keyboard, Mona, just online. I wasn’t exposing my life to danger. I don’t want to mention any names now because I’m just released and I don’t know where they are and if I will endanger them, but there are a lot of people, Mostafa ElNaggar whom you (Mona) met, those people were really endangered. While I was just typing on the keyboard. So please, there was no heroes, the heroes are the people on the streets, the heroes are each one of us. There is no knight now with a horse leading the crowds. Never let anyone fool you by this. This is a revolution, a revolution done by the Internet youth, which was transformed to the Egyptian youth revolution, and then transformed to the revolution of all Egyptians. There was no specific heroes in it who have all the credit, we were all heroes. This was firstly.


Wael, I know that you came here just after your release, but I want to tell you that the moment you want to breathe, just breathe. You can stop to think when you want, we are not pressuring you.


I spent the last 48 hours without sleeping, but this was a personal thing, I couldn’t sleep.


Why was the first thing you said was: “We are not traitors”, why? Where they accusing you of being so?


See, we are not listening to each other anymore. I want to say that the time we are living in is the season of treason accusation. This might accuse you, that might accuse you. Remember when I told you to say the truth, and you said that security is pressuring us, and we don’t know what to do. This is the season of treason accusation. But I want to say that if I said I was tortured, hit, electrified and I took off my clothes with no marks all the people would have believed me, right? Because I have some credibility among the public. But actually this didn’t happen to me. I wasn’t exposed to any harm. I was stunned.


You went to the demonstrations.


I went to the 25th of Jan demonstration.


We talked 1 or 2 am, something like that.


I was kidnapped, I was dealt with in State Security in a very strange way, in a very respectful way. I talked to some highly intellectual people inside State Security. During the first interrogation they were 100% convinced that we were backed by foreigners. That someone is brainwashing us, or financing us to direct us for certain actions. Post this or post that. You know, I wasn’t hurt by anything said, God was kind to my mom and dad (meaning that security, mainly soldiers, called his mom and dad names), but I wasn’t hurt by that. I was really hurt when an officer in the beginning of the interrogation thought I was a traitor. This officer changed his opinion. We are not traitors, we love Egypt. If I was a traitor I would have lived in my villa with my pool in the UAE and enjoyed myself. I was paid well, the pay was increasing and enjoying my time. I would have thought like the rest: To hell with my country. I would have said: This is not our country, it is their country. This is if I was a traitor. We are not traitors. One of the things I’m proud of is that I went home after convincing them, and I know what I’m talking about, that they know we are not traitors, and that we don’t have any private agendas, but just one agenda, our love for our country. They were skeptical, they didn’t believe what does it mean that some youth on Facebook, I used to call them in the past Facebook kids. They used to call us during Khaled Said demonstrations, those kids on Facebook who make some noise. They didn’t believe that those youth, went to demos in tens of thousands. In fact, WE believed that. We, the people who were involved in this. And by the way, I was just the spokesperson, I was just a horn calling for people to go to the streets. There are many people who did a lot. Those are the people who should be on your program telling you how did they think about everything, how was the decision making for demonstrations and protecting people, how to convince all the people to make it a peaceful demonstration. How to make people clean the streets, everything was thought of. What I wanted to say..


Wael, please take a breath. We are not interrogating you. You are not on auth. You don’t have to repeat that you are not a traitor, and that you love this country.


Unfortunately, please let me explain. We are now in a time, when a person is a traitor for having good intentions, because people think that the natural thing, the most common side is the bad side. But this is not real. I was proud of being an Egyptian during the 25th. When there are thousands of girls and no single sexual harassment, when a very simple person is cleaning the streets without anyone asking him to do so. When there is a traffic light and no one is touching it or destroying it. When people see an armed person and people shouting at him to throw away what he was carrying. A brick fell on my leg because someone was trying to throw it. There were some ignorant people trying to attack violently. But when? When they were exposed to rubber bullets! There were people who was asking on the Khaled Said page: “why is that admin doing what he is doing?”. Do you know that my personal life was nearly destroyed? And that my wife wanted to file a divorce because I stopped talking with her like before. And then some carefree person is accusing me of being a traitor, someone must be financing me. Many people supported those claims. What I want to say that we love our country, and I refuse any accusations.


I will remind you of something you forgot. We have some brains to think with. Not only security departments know everything. The youth who talked to me in the end of the last year, 2010, about a campaign to clean Egypt, to devise a map to locate garbage. Remember Wael? A map locating those places so officials have some kind of common-sense and clean them. I told you, Wael, that I’m supporting you, under the condition to locate clean places too to create some kind of motivation. A person who thinks that way can’t be someone who wants to hurt his country.


I want to say that I wasn’t optimistic as I was at the 25th, and today I’m stunned for what the people did. I told Dr. Hossam Badrawy, thanks to anyone who tried to helped my release, but in the same time, it is unbelievable that when my dad see with just one eye, and he may lose his other eye, and he doesn’t know where his son is. Why? Why? You want to arrest me, there is a law, arrest me, accuse me. Interrogate me, this is your right. But call my family, tell them that I’m arrested. All what I want to say, that at least those interrogated me wanted the benefit of this country, and I’m talking only about the person who interrogated me, I can’t judge intentions. I was blindfolded for 12 days, not hearing anything, not knowing anything.

From despair I was just singing. I didn’t know what was happening in the streets. I didn’t know if the people went to the demonstrations. I was thinking, did they step back? Was I forgotten? Is someone asking for my release? I didn’t know anything and no one of course is telling anything. I don’t know any single piece of news. Of course they have security measures, I don’t know.

What I thought of was that my wife in UAE doesn’t know where I am, my mother in Egypt doesn’t know where I am, my dad in Saudi Arabia who has a sick eye doesn’t know where I am, and they (State Security) knew where I am. The simplest thing was to tell them, no security threats will be done with just telling them.

Even if you suspected me, get all your evidences. And thanks God I said all the truth, I didn’t know if they knew it but I just said the truth, because I’m proud of what I did, and I was ready to pay the price.

What is important now, what I want to say, this is not the time to solve measures or to get even with somebody. There a lot of people whom I want to solve my measures with, even as a person. I want to take back a lot from a lot of people. But this is not the time. This is not the time for distributing the cake. Many politicians will understand what I mean, this is not the cake time for them. This is not the time to back certain ideologies.

What I say now reflects my personal views, I didn’t talk yet with the rest of the page admins. Make sure I’m not a knight (hero), one of the success secrets of the page that all the decisions was put in surveys first and what the majority decides will happen.

I’m now the blindfolded Wael who is just released at 7 or 8 pm, and sat with the ministry of Interior. I can’t say how much I’m proud of all of you. Of each one who went to the demonstrations, because the ministry of Interior is sitting in front of me face to face, man to man. Talking from the perspective that I’m strong and he is strong, not from the perspective that I’m an insignificant kid. You know the paternal definition. I respected that in him as a person, but I was proud of all those Egyptian youth. Dr Hossam Badrawy drove me because of those youth.


Wael we are going off for a while then we will come back, and please have a drink because you didn’t eat since your release.

Part III:



Wael didn’t know where he was, he was somewhere, blindfolded. But today he understood that he was with the ministry of Interior.


Anyone who went to State Security will be familiar with what happened. What is usually done is a kidnap operation.


How? Tell me what happened Friday?


It wasn’t Friday, it was Thursday night. At 1 am I was with a friend of mine, he is a colleague from Google visiting Egypt and I was with him, then I left looking for a taxi, and while I was walking four men surrounded me. I began shouting for help but I understood that those must be State Security, then they put me in a car putting my place to the ground, blindfolded me and took me to State Security HQ.

When I was posting in Khaled Said page I put my heart in all what I said, leaving the final judgment to the people. The kidnapping I faced was a crime, nothing justify this crime. This is something we fight. There should be a law, if you can’t act by law try to change to the law. There is the parliament. I’m not a terrorist nor a drug dealer to be under emergency law with all my respect.

I want to say something though it might be used to accuse me of being a traitor but I must say it. But when I talked with the security officers, I felt that from their inside that they work for the benefit from Egypt. They are doing it their way, but I love Egypt too and I’m doing it my way. And unfortunately because of the current regime, the two ways look very opposite. We need to turn down this regime, this regime which is based on the idea that no one has the right to speak as one see fit.


The everyone should see matters from one perspective and any other way is wrong or want to turn down the political system.


Exactly, I have all the right to ask. You are a minister so you are hired in the government. With all my respect to you but I pay your salary from my own taxes. Most of the Egyptian government income comes from taxes and we pay the taxes. And not even us, it is the poor people who pay the taxes. This Sales Tax added to everything we buy, and everyone pay it, whether poor or rich. If you earn 500 LE (85 US$) a month, you have the right to question your minister because most of your income is spent as sales tax.

The slogan I liked most was: This country is OUR country, it is not just your (government) country, this is our country. You don’t have the right to be my custodian. You only have the right if I didn’t abide by the law, the law we all accepted, then you can punish me while also abiding by the law.

I was dealt with in a very respectable way from respectable people and I became a little calm thinking that those people are just searching for the benefit of the country, and that if the political system changed, those people will serve their country in a much better way like we all will serve this country in a better way. We are all in one boat. This is not the suitable time to solve measures, this is not the time to preach ideologies, this is Egypt time!

We should all sacrifice our private interests. I’m totally ready to lose all my money at the moment during we are talking now for my country, and if there is someone who is not capable of doing the same, please step down quickly. There are a lot of people who are ready to sacrifice and waiting for the chance.

A lot of the most respectable were humiliated and hit. You know the director Amr Salama, when I saw him in the High Judicial Court demonstration slapped many times and then took into a building hit by three men, kicked in his face and body. He was told you will be dead here, you will be killed here.


They think that this way they protect the country, Wael.


Now we all agree that this policy is wrong. Do we agree by force? I want to agree when I’m strong not to agree by force when I’m weak.

I’m not an icon, I’m just a normal human being, who is a fan le Al-Ahly, I don’t want to be an icon. I’m not a hero. People are beginning to call me a traitor now. They just asked me why are you in the car with Hossam Badrawy?

I want to thank him for his efforts to release me, as well as anybody else who helped, although what happened to me was a crime, I’m not thanking him for his “service” because it was his duty to do so. I’m an Egyptian who love Egypt, I have a bachelor degree and a Master degree, an intellectual, and a respectful person and it is unimaginable to be humiliated that way. Dr. Hossam Badrawy talked with me, and told me they removed all those you call bad people from the party, and now the party will be reborn. You know what I told him? I told him I don’t want to see the National Democratic Party logo in any street in Egypt. I don’t want to see another NDP. This is my personal opinion. I don’t know if it is all the people’s opinion, but I think that this party destroyed our country. The members in this party are empty from inside. There are a lot of good people in this country. Maybe there are some good people in the NDP, they can get out of it and make another movement, another party, and a lot of people will respect that. This is what I said to Dr. Hossam. Resign and make something new and name it anything you want, present your ideology and let the people decide. Do you know what happened in the 25th? Something called the electronic committee in the NDP, some youth who share the same NDP ideology defending it I don’t know how they knew I was a traitor and a Mossad agent -- registered 100s of fake Facebook accounts, 3 days before that day. Those fake accounts has a sole goal to direct the people to something specific. That the admin want to destroy the country, 6th of April wants to destroy everything, ElBaradei wants to blah blah blah, those are financed by the Mossad. They accused some girl of having 300 thousand dollars for this demonstration. Many rumors which are mere lies. All the admins spent their time on what they did.

I’m just a keyboard activist, without having paining your fingers. Many people spent their time and money on this, on their dreams. We are dreamers and now the dream is transforming to a reality. Please, dear officials, do not destroy this dream. Don’t deal with us as if we are kids. We are adults, with brains. It is not easy to be brainwashed by anyone just like that.

One of the things which made me laugh: “The MBs are the ones who went to the 25th demonstration”. I want to declare that coordinating the demonstration didn’t have any single Muslim Brotherhood member. The coordinators were from different parties and in the same time they didn’t represent their parties during organization. We are just a group or normal youth. The MBs didn’t know anything before publishing the coordination on the Facebook page. The sharing decision is left to them, they are a political power and they have the right to share or not. All in all they will not hijack this work. It is all Egyptian youth who love Egypt and ready to die for Egypt. Please enough rumors.


For those who don’t know Wael, the main reason I know Wael is that he is a very genius person in the Internet field. And that many important official institutions in Egypt ask his help in some technical issues. It is not just the company he works for (Google), and that he understand what is the Internet is about. I never knew he is a political activist. His talking was always general. He just loves Egypt.

The second thing: About Dr. Hossam Badrawy, is that gives you credit, that you are a respectful person.


I agree, and this is exactly what I said. The minister of Interior told me before my release that Dr. Hossam Badrawy, the General Secretary of the party, by himself will drive you. I told him I will be with him in the car because I respect Dr. Hossam as a person, but I don’t want to see the NDP logo in the streets, with all my respect to the NDP.


I told Dr. Hossam this gives you personal credit, not political credit. Wael said enough. What you don’t know Wael, is that many people in important institutions in Egypt, their sons and daughters go to demonstrations with their knowledge or without. I’m responsible for this fact, do you know how did Hossam Badrawy know about you? From his daughter.

Part IV:



We all went to the demonstrations to demand our rights in our country. If you are asking me what do you want at the moment, I want the poor people in this country to have dignity, to be not humiliated, to have all their rights. What hurts me the most is that we have systematic way to destroy the Egyptian dignity. When you humiliate a poor Egyptian because you are just more powerful than him, you are executing him. Transforming him into a person without dignity, without a value, who is capable of stealing and murder. But when he is dealt with in a respectful way, he learns that he won’t steal because he is Egyptian, I won’t be a traitor because I’m Egyptian. I’m proud of being Egyptian. During the interrogations while talking about this treason issue, there is a personal detail in my life, my wife is an American Muslim, and since 2001 I could have applied for a US passport, but I didn’t even file an application. I told the interrogator do you know how many Egyptians apply for the green card lottery each year? Hundreds of thousands annually want to be Americans. What we want today:

1. We want to return the dignity to every Egyptian

2. How to fight all kinds of corruption. How to prevent systematic corruption.

3. We want to return the sense of belonging to the youth.

The people who went to the streets of course have this sense, but it is just many youth now don’t care. Though they are still so kind. I’m not saying that the Egyptian kid is the smartest kid in the world, but during hardships the true meaning of Egyptians appear, that in the middle of crisis we have this feeling of satisfaction. We deserve much more better than what is happening to us. And please, please, please, this is not the time for solving measures. This is the time of demanding rights, all rights. How to build our country. To leave the past behind and decide what will the future look like and think well about that.

I want to tell you that I don’t know what is happening currently in Egypt.


You said you didn’t know if there were demonstrations. Did you know from the interrogators? Did they accuse you of destroying the country?


Till a day before my release I didn’t know anything. All the interrogations were about me and about the Facebook page. I respected the interrogators very much when their only concern if the Facebook fan page was controlled from outsiders or is it by spontaneous Egyptian hands. I didn’t give any evidence but I can assure that they are now convinced that it is all by Egyptian hands.


Were you released because there was major pressure pushing for your release, or were they convinced that you are just an Egyptian who loves his country in his own way? Because there is a huge difference.


The treatment became much better when they were convinced that I’m an Egyptian who love his country.


You felt that in their eyes


I didn’t see their eyes


They didn’t remove the blindfold?


For 12 days, this is because you are not supposed to know where they are. The last day was of course much better.


They tone changed in the ending than in the beginning?


No, the it was the same respectful tone from the beginning to the ending. They told me that they know I’m a respectful person and all what they want is some details. He just want to know if there were non-Egyptians in the demonstrations. I mentioned all the people who contributed in the coordination then I found out that they mentioned the names as well.


You are not a secret organization.


We didn’t do anything wrong. We did what our conscious ordered us to do. In the 25th night I posted a call for Mr. President. We acted according to a very simple plan modeled by the following.

In the beginning it was a very slight knock, then it became stronger, then more stronger. Wake up government, hey people. Then we knocked harder and louder, then we screamed, nobody was moving. They don’t give a damn, I don’t know how he thinks. I don’t know how the policy maker thinks. Is he thinking that those demanding their rights are a minority and the rest are satisfied with their lives and everything is ok?

I know I interrupted you a lot and that you didn’t talk much


No please, go on, you are here to talk.


When the ministry of Interior asked me what is the problem? I told him we suffer two main problems. The first problem is that we don’t communicate with each other. I’m not talking about the MOI specifically, I’m talking about the regime in general. There is this fatherly view that we (the government) know what we are doing and you just don’t realize our efforts. So please eat bread (go to work), eat a hamburger and step down for us to do our work. So he (the policy maker) is talking somewhere and I’m somewhere else. Then it becomes natural that I’m a traitor and you become a protector of the regime, the survival for the strongest and that’s it.

The second problem is the no-trust state. We suffered the existence of many people whose job was producing a propaganda, thinking that people are some kind of a cattle. When a person publishes news that he knows it is entirely false to the public. I don’t to give examples..

I will tell you one example, the demonstrations numbers. In a major newspaper they mentioned that it was only 50 people in Mansoura, 14 protestor.


Security demanded us to announce that there are only tens of protestors although without our own eyes we were seeing hundreds of thousands of protestors in the streets. You have all the right in what you are saying.


The state of no-trust. I told the minister of Interior, if I stripped naked publicly and there was no marks on my body, and told them I was tortured, my skull was broken, and electrified all the people will believe me.

Though if I took off my clothes now and said nothing happened, a lot of people will say I was pressured to state that nothing happened to him. And this state of no-trust they are the main reason for it. The theory that the citizen shouldn’t know everything, and that he should be told that everything is ok. To hide this, hide that, don’t put this. Did you know the responsible for the Mercedes bribe? We don’t know yet, we want to know who. We need to get rid of the idea that the people are still kids. And please all the propaganda people return to their yards. Those people who said that foreign TV channels are leading the demonstrations, why does the Egyptian watch these channels in the first place? Because his own Egyptian channel always states that everything is ok, it is just some looters are in the streets who belong to certain groups. The Egyptian television has no credibility, I don’t blame any foreign television covering the incidents. I blame the Egyptian television for NOT covering. You are an Egyptian you should cover what is really happening in Egypt, and NOT direct people to certain ideas as you just said: To spread the truth, whatever this truth was. Enough defecation, enough with corrupting the common-sense of people. We want to make a legal structure, agreed by all Egyptians. There are a lot of Egyptians who love this country and want to serve this country but afraid. I hope today that will change and be fixed.


What did the ministry of Interior tell you? You told me you talked with him man to man.


There were several men actually.


There was some kind of equality in your situation. An Egyptian in front of an Egyptian. A ministry of Interior with a detainee, what did he tell you?


Yes of course there was some kind of equality. I asked him if our talk is on the records or off the records. He told me as you like. Then he told me he became a minister for only 7 or 8 days, and you (the youth) earned a lot of achievements and no one knows how did you do all this. Everybody inside the party were stunned, astonished, in a state of un-belief. The change is irreversible. All of us care for this country. We served the country in a certain way, and this way is changing. All what he cared about that no opportunist would hijack what happened. I agreed with that even before hearing that from him. What really hurts me is that there is sacrificed blood and some people just care about the cake, this part or that part. If someone think that way please step down quickly, because the people who went to the streets to say No to the government will say No to you too.


In the very quick call between me and Wael after his release, one of the first things he asked about: what will we do for those who died. Wael, did you know that anyone died?


Yes they told me in the interrogations, not after my release, I knew before in the last interrogation, they told me everything that happened.


This was the first thing Wael asked about. There are respectful and famous people in Egypt who think it is inappropriate to talk about the following. At the moment they knew about the dead people and that they can contribute something not for calming things down, nor for sweet talk towards certain people against others, they just felt it is their duty for those who died, they are our brothers and sisters, our children. The photos we shown yesterday mentions that. I don’t know if you saw them Wael


No I didn’t, didn’t see anyone.


Those on the screen are fine youth. Those are our roses. Who went to the streets just like Wael said, they don’t want anything. Please don’t cry, Wael. Wael, please don’t cry. Those people didn’t want to be a leader of some party, those people were affected by poverty, and life was too tough for them. They only went to the streets for Egypt only. They succeeded in doing what we, past generations, were not able to do. Those people were not activists. No one financed them, they just wanted to say they love this country. And unless I’m not able to announce the names, I could have said that there is one person is ready for compensating their families.


I want to say to each mother, and to each father who lost their child…it is not our fault, I swear it is not our fault. It is the responsibility of each person who was too attached to power. I want to leave.

Wael Ghonim is free and his first words (with English translation)

Firstly, I’d like to give me condolences to the families of the Egyptians who died, I can’t say that I apologize because no protester broke anything, all protests were peaceful and out slogan was Peaceful Demonstrations. I want to say please don’t make a hero out of me, I’m a person who was sleeping for 12 days. The real heros are those people on the ground, please direct the camera and give the attention to those people. And God willing we will change this country. All the bad (dirty) things in this country should be fixed, and we will fix it. *applause*

On Egyptian ISP TEdata intentional Speed limitation

Annotated by Max Forte on Diigo, I’m just adjusting it.

So when TE Data both filters and rate limits, we have an artificially slow and essentially broken network that discourages use #egypt 9 minutes ago

  • What is clear is that in practice there is a behavioral impact -- connections may fail, users are discouraged, they may be unprotected #egypt 12 minutes ago

  • Is rate limiting an entire connection censorship? I think this is less clear because in theory *the data will eventually* arrive #egypt 11 minutes ago 
  • Is filtering censorship? I think this is unquestionably and obviously true. #egypt 12 minutes ago
    @eclip5e I refused to answer their questions. about 4 hours ago in reply to eclip5e
    Discouraging uploading and actively blocking access to sites is clearly politically motivated to create a limited
    subset of the net #egypt 22 minutes ago 
    It does not appear that servers or other hosted systems are rate limited -- rate limiting is only for home/business end users #egypt 22 minutes ago

      • ioerror
      • So while #Egypt has returned to the internet, it is now tiered and those who are politically active (end users) are collectively punished… 29 minutes ago 
      • ioerror

        This kind of rate limiting practically discourages video/photo participation but gives the illusion of *full* connectivity #egypt #jan25 30 minutes ago Retweeted by you and 8 others

      • The frustrating issue is that people just assume #egypt normally has slow DSL -- these are normally quite fast lines, crippled intentionally! about 1 hour ago Retweeted by you and 14 others
        • Some people will not download software to protect themselves because it practically takes *too long* or it prevents other activities #egypt 38 minutes ago
        • There are people who cannot upload videos or photographs in a meaningful time frame -- sometimes not at all because of conns breaking #egypt 39 minutes ago
        • While not as nuanced as political-networked-coercive-throttling -- the word censorship is fair because of the end result: censorship #egypt 40 minutes ago
        • A few points: I was not arrested, I did not consent to any searching, and of course -- this isn’t about travel, this is about liberty about 7 hours ago
        • Why do we allow US Customs to lie and to threaten people? It’s a crime to lie to them and they do it as their day job. Why the inequality? about 10 hours ago
      • @1D4TW Correct -- this is a link that normally is measured in Mb/s and they have throttled it for political reasons… 42 minutes ago in reply to 1D4TW Retweeted by you and 1 other
        • It’s also quite worrying to note that this traffic shaping is new -- perhaps with new equipment installed after the networks went down #egypt 32 minutes ago
        • People in #egypt don’t have the ability to simply call up another ISP and wait 7-14 days for a new DSL provider who will also cripple them 33 minutes ago

      • Just as the Great Firewall is easy to circumvent, people will chunk uploads and wait for files to downloads. It’s still network abuse #egypt about 1 hour ago
      • It’s interesting to note that some media initially reported that I had no trouble because I said nothing at all. Irony abounds. about 10 hours ago
        • Will the Canadian government simply act as an arm of the US policy of detaining, searching, and harassing me? Oh Canada! I hope not. about 10 hours ago
        • I’d like to think that when I visit my family in Canada this wekend and attend a work conference that Canada won’t hassle me. Am I dreaming? about 10 hours ago
      • TE Data DSL service is being seriously rate limited specifically to impact documenters from sharing in reasonable time. #egypt #jan25 about 1 hour ago
      • The end result of political throttling is that people are unable to see or produce media in a relevant or impactful time span. #egypt #jan25 about 1 hour ago 
      • Rate limiting is not traditional censorship: TE Data wants to stifle speech and their methods are working. Imperfect but intentional. #egypt about 1 hour ago 
        • I’m flying to Toronto, Canada for work on Sunday and back through Seattle again a few days later. Should be a joy to meet these guys again. about 11 hours ago
        • I resisted the temptation to give them a disk filled with /dev/random because I knew that reading them the Bill of Rights was enough hassle. about 11 hours ago               
        • The mental environment that this creates for traveling is intense. Nothing is assured, nothing is secure, and nothing provides escape. about 11 hours ago
        • The CBP agent asked me for data -- was I bringing data into the country? Where was all my data from the trip? Names, numbers, receipts, etc. about 11 hours ago
        • I’m only counting from the time that we opened my luggage until it was closed. The airport was basically empty when I left. about 11 hours ago
        • In case it is not abundantly clear: I have not been arrested, nor charged with any crime, nor indicted in any way. Land of the free? Hardly. about 11 hours ago
        • Even if it makes things worse for me, I refuse to be silent about state sponsored systematic detainment, searching, and harassment. about 11 hours ago
        • It took a great deal of thought before I posted about my experience because it honestly appears to make things worse for me in the future. about 11 hours ago

        • They were quite surprised to learn that Iceland had computers and that I didn’t have to bring my own. about 11 hours ago
            • All in all, the detainment was around thirty minutes long. They all seemed quite distressed that I had no computer and no phone. about 11 hours ago
            • The CBP agent asked if the ACLU was really waiting. I confirmed the ACLU was waiting and they again denied me contact with legal help. about 11 hours ago

            • The CBP agents in Seattle were nicer than ones in Newark. None of them implied I would be raped in prison for the rest of my life this time. about 11 hours ago

        • During the search, I made it quite clear that I had no laptop and no cell phone. Only USB drives with the Bill of Rights. about 11 hours ago  
    • Only US customs has random number generator worse than a mid-2007 Debian random number generator. Random? Hardly. about 11 hours ago
      • While waiting for my baggage, I noticed the CBP agent watching me and of course after my bag arrived, I was “randomly” selected for search. about 11 hours ago

      • She attempted to trick me by putting words into my mouth. She marked my card with a large box with the number 1 inside, sent me on my way. about 11 hours ago

      • The CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) agent was waiting for me at the exit gate. Remember when it was our family and loved ones? about 11 hours ago
        • I requested access my lawyer and was again denied. They stated I was I wasn’t under arrest and so I was not able to contact my lawyer. about 11 hours ago
        • The forensic specialist (who was friendly) explained that EnCase and FTK, with a write-blocker inline were unable to see the Bill of Rights. about 12 hours ago
        • I did however have a few USB thumb drives with a copy of the Bill of Rights encoded into the block device. They were unable to copy it. about 12 hours ago
          • Max Forte
            Max Forte 06 Feb 11 07:54:57
            Sorry for the poor formatting…the key point is that I observed three different Egyptian websites I consult frequently, including 3arabawy, responding very slowly. At first I thought this was due to high traffic, given increased interest in the sites. However, here we have Jacob Appelbaum, a noted American hacker, affiliated with Wikileaks, and an expert in his field, who says repeatedly that his research shows continued Egyptian state censorship…in throttling traffic from activist websites in Egypt, to limit their presence as much as possible. A few minutes ago, 3arabawy did not load at all in my broswer, except for the black background…and I have a cable connection.

      Join Diaspora


      should be more organized, and the developers should test it from a user point of view. The aspect concept is awesome but I’m really having a hard time adding people. If you are there you can add me

      Random Thoughts

      I wonder why do I waste so many chances on people I used to care for, realizing that I need the courage to have enough force to cut it off and move on. I have to keep reminding myself that those you are care for must also care for you, it is a give and take, you can’t be such a fool to give for always (a friend is never a mother), and of course, a selfish person who always take, is never worth it.

      This should be obvious, but it is amazing how a human being is so blind even with the most powerful eye, even with the best powers of observation. There will be always a missed hint, a missed shot, a misunderstanding.

      It is so hard to be clear to a friend, or an ex-friend, who decides not to be clear to you. A friend like that should be wasted off your life as soon as possible.

      Random thoughts…

      Couples are young so they screw up a lot, their families are too old so they try to make their youngster do what they didn’t succeed in in their youth.


      Sometimes you are so alone, so you go to a big tea party to be more lonely, so you try to get out to get back to yourself. It is like you are the box itself, you can’t go in, you can’t think out of it. You are stuck. The only solution is to burst yourself to survive.


      Sometimes you try to mingle with the right people in the wrong time, sometimes with the wrong people in the right time, though both are always better than meeting the wrong people in the wrong time. This worst scenario must be experienced, but must be experienced once, and try as much as you can, never get into this again, and instead, wait, like a hunter, and just shoot. The right people..the right time, just be sure of being right and never care about what others think of. Did someone say that hell is the others?


      All the talks, all the hypocrisy, you think someone cares, but the thing is, who cares, no body cares until you “earn” the attention. You can’t just get something because you deserve, you need to do the extra mile and earn it.


      I just need to realize that no matter how less I sometimes do, that I should know when does less means less and when does less means more.


      I need to practice to write myself out more often, to free myself of all the negativity filling my veins, all the negativity that I’m trying to bury for years and years.


      I need to thank God for the gift of life, and all the other gifts I’m blessed with.

      A look to the present from the past.

      As a part of Rasha’s Good Old Blogging Days, I just miss those days, where the blogs were your own kingdom, before Social Networks came to steal this genuine spirit.

      People shared their very fine personal details to people they don’t even know. Online people knew each other for long, just for the heck of friendship. Looking for truth and warmth they didn’t find in the real world. Expressing their views to people who are like-minded, or who are open-minded, or both.

      Blogging was a place of acceptance, a place they can be free and wild, were they can virtually dance with the whole world watching, a place where all their dreams come true. A Utopia where every one believed in. I once read, maybe it was in the Bible, that the Kingdom of Christ is not on this land, it is in Heaven. So is blogging, our Kingdom was on the virgin Internet.

      I wish I can express myself more in blogging, I miss those old days, I miss the friends I made through blogging. I miss much of the warm feelings I felt before.

      I want to thank everyone who made me happy for even once, thank you very much.

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