1 Feb 2011

Egypt’s million march and the social media

It is being billed as a march of a million people, aimed at revolutionising Egypt’s politics. Channel 4 News explores some of the key social media players helping to fuel events in Cairo.

Egypt: million man march fuelled by social media


Despite attempts to stop people in Egypt using the internet to mobilise support, many protesters and journalists have been able to access Twitter.

The social media site is being used to update millions of people around the world on events in Egypt as they happen.

@SharifKouddous is a journalist who is tweeting throughout the million-strong march. He is being followed by, among others, Amnesty International in London to monitor events in Cairo.

11.29: Amazing here. Interviewed many people of all stripes. The mood, atmosphere, energy, the certitude of victory & change is inspiring.

@arabrevolution has the following bio: “A Tunisian kicking out a dictator inspired millions of Arabs to do the same to their oppressors. 1 down 22 to go. This account will document this journey.”

12.53: Tahrir is full the rim, starts to overflow into streets leading into Tahrir #Egypt #Jan25

Egypt: Twitter is fuelling events in Cairo

@monaeltahawy is a commentator and public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues.

11.56: Wow Wow Wow – #Egyptians did it: they answered the Million Egyptian March call. Inspiring exhilarating and thrilling. Yalla #Egypt! #Jan25

LIVE BLOG: Egypt protests - a million march against Mubarak


Facebook has played a big part in the uprising. Activists have used the site to spread news of events within Egypt and also to garner support from the rest of the world.

We are all Khaled Said was set up in memory of a 28-year old from Alexandria who it is claimed was tortured to death by policemen in Egypt.

The page has more than 37,000 fans and is regularly updated with pictures and messages from the million march in Cairo.

“It’s amazing to see my people no longer afraid, tasting freedom for the first time.” We are all Khaled Said

11.01: “A group of senior judges have joined the demonstration with a banner which reads ‘The Judges and the People are one Hand together'”

Its founder told Channel 4 News it was “amazing and worrying” to be part of the social media fuelling the revolution: “It’s amazing to see my people no longer afraid, tasting freedom for the first time, unity risen to an unbelievable level and democracy is at our doorsteps.

“On the other hand, I’m worried about my people, Mubarak is a dictator who killed thousands of opponents and simple Egyptians before, so I’m sure he doesn’t care if killing few thousand Egyptians will keep him in power.”

Support protests in Egypt has more than 3,000 fans and has been set up to “support the Egyptian people in their fight for freedom from their police state”.

It has pulled in contributions from around the world including: “Learn from our mistakes” A letter from the people of Iran to the people of Egypt.

Protesters gather in Cairo, Egypt


The Arabist is run by Issandr El Amrani who is a freelance journalist and commentator.

An editor of the now defunct Cairo Times and founder of Cairo magazines, he has lived in Cairo since 2000, writing about Egypt and the Middle East for a wide range of UK and US publications.

The Arabist is also on Twitter @arabist.

3arabawy is a site by Hossam el-Hamalawy who is an Egyptian journalist from Cairo and an influential blogger.

@3arabawy has been tweeting during the uprising but has not posted any new tweets since January 31.

His blog site includes photos and analysis from the protests in Cairo during recent days.

Picture courtesy of 3arabawy