This is Asmaa Mahfouz, the 26-year-old woman who sparked Egypt’s revolution.
On January 18th, Asmaa uploaded this video to her Facebook. It quickly went viral throughout Egypt, and thousands rallied to follow her instructions for a peaceful protest.
The night before the protests began, Asmaa posted another message, thanking everyone and urging nonviolent action.
Asmaa’s videos are eloquent and passionate. They are perfectly crafted to appeal to Muslims, Christians, men and women, old and young. She sets herself as the example, then makes an irrefutable argument about the importance of showing up to the next protest.
“Whoever says it is not worth it coz there will be only a handful of people, I want to tell him, you are the reason behind this. And you are a traitor, just like the President or any security cop who beats us in the streets. Your presence with us will make a difference, a big difference!”
“If you stay at home, then you deserve all that’s being done to you. And you will be guilty, before your nation and your people. And you’ll be responsible for what happens to us on the street while you sit at home.”
Asmaa Mahfouz is relatively unknown, especially in the West. Her Wikipedia entry is slowly being fleshed out. One of the few things we know is that she celebrated her 26th birthday at the revolution, and that she’s still there today, standing in protest for her rights.
Egypt’s turmoil is very thoroughly documented. For the most recent news, try Mother Jones. Twitter accounts are constantly in flux, but today you can follow Anjali Kamat and Sharif Kouddous for updates from the ground.
Please watch these two videos by the young woman who triggered the events in Egypt. What amazing courage.
Thanks to Love and Trash for posting these.