[Air-L] Message from Egypt

Dr. Rasha Abdulla rasha at aucegypt.edu
Wed Feb 2 16:30:37 PST 2011

Dear friends and colleagues,

This is a brief message from Egypt at the end of a very long and tiring day.
Just to thank you for the ISOC Statement on Egypt's Internet shutdown and
for your wishes and thoughts. I have been down at Tahrir Square (which means
"Liberation" by the way) almost everyday this week, and I can tell you our
7000-year-old nation is being re-born.

I don't have any scientific theories to back me up right this moment (maybe
I will when I'm better rested and I've had time to read all your messages on
the subject, this is the first day we've had Internet access since Friday
morning our time), but I can tell you this has been, to a very large extent,
an Internet-based revolution. Even the illiterate classes who are down on
Tahrir Square say this was started "by the youth of Facebook" and I do agree
with them. Please forgive my lack of scientific support for now, but it's
almost 2:30 am here and I really need some sleep for another long day
tomorrow. I have three books to my name on different aspects of Internet use
and its effect in the Arab world, and this will probably be the topic for my
fourth book; and I also am founding editor of an Egyptian book series on
"Digital Literacy" so I will claim that I know my stuff to a good extent. I
do have a lot of elaboration to do, I know, but I'll ask that you bear with
me till I have a little more time on my hands.

I'm just writing to let you know that the youth of Facebook, who have
revived this great country, are hanging tight in Tahrir Square, together
with hundreds of thousands, at times millions, of people who have joined
them, many of them not even Internet users. There's a new momentum in the
air, and we hope it will lead to a much better future for this country and
its people.

Your thoughts, wishes, and prayers are much needed and much appreciated.

All the best.

Rasha A. Abdulla, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
Journalism and Mass Communication
The American University in Cairo

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