My thoughts on the Wael Ghonim talk at the L.A. Theatre

Wael Ghonim address a large audience last night at the L.A. Theatre to promote his book and discuss some excerpts from his book, Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater than the People In Power. The format for last night was a conversation with Wael and the moderator rather than Wael sharing his experience in the Egyptian Revolution and having a large conversation with the audience. I think it would have been organized better had it been more of a conversation with the audience. There were very few questions answered and it didn’t provide a great dialogue with those in attendance.

When Wael was talking about the Egyptian Revolution, he stated that for the first time in Egypt the Egyptians were waiting in line to vote. They understood that there voice now matters. He mention that he had been on Egyptian’s watch list since 2001 and that during the Mubarack regime, the country was run by the State Security. Wael stated that had the State Security been paying attention on the power of Social Media instead of what religon people practice, they could have been more prepared to handle the revolution.

I was impress to hear him talk about the Tools of Mass Oppression that Mubarack used during his regime; Fear, Media-to spread his propaganda and the Legal System. Wael stated that Egyptians endured a lot of pain, frustration, anger and poverty during Mubarack’s regime. The people were tired of living under these circumstance. He went on to say that the youth felt it was time to elect a leader that will represent them and they were not willing to take the streets to get rid off Mubarack to change him for another dictator. The youth wanted concrete change and that is the process that they are presently going through. Wael made it clear that change does not happen overnight. It will take time.

Thanks to the Jasmine Revolution, the Egyptian youth sparked a fire of optimism in the lives all Egyptians to start taking an active stance against the Mubarack regime.

Wael made a great point when the conversation came towards the Muslim Brotherhood. He stated he does not focus on the Brotherhood’s rhetoric in the past. He rather give them hope and see what they are capable of doing while in power, “we should focus on how the system looks regardless of their past.”

He also made a great point when talking about dictators in general. He stated that the last thing a dictator wants is to expose his corruption and his crimes against humanity. He went on to say, “any dictator wants an extreme opposition against them to validate their dictatorship.”

One of the stories that made an impact on me was when Wael shared the story of someone subscribing to his Facebook page, We Are All Khaled Said, and receiving a message from a subscriber telling him that he wish he had not subscribed to his page, “because I am being exposed to a lot of things I didn’t know were going on [in Egypt].”

That quote got me reflecting on our own situation here. How long will people continue to “unsubscribe” to the issues affecting our country while people’s lives are being affected. I am a firm believer that we are all connected. Just because the recession has not been as painful to someone as it has to other people, it should not give be an excuse to “unsubscribed.” Let’s “subscribed” to the various issues that surrounds us because once we get “exposed to a lot of things,” we will realize that the “power of the people is greater than the people in power.”

Wael summed up the Egyptian Revolution by saying that in Egypt, poverty was the biggest human right violation and people were ready to live their lives with dignity. I can honestly say that in America, poverty and homelessness continues to be the biggest human right violations and sooner rather than later, the injustices suffer by the majority at the hands of a few minority will set the stage for a mass social uprising. 

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