3/04 (五) 思,英語討論會 3:Wael Ghonim

Discussion Question: Today we’re just going to go through the questions and statements one by one and discuss our reactions to the statements.

Questions to ponder:
1. What did you find memorable about the video, something you saw?
2. What words or phrases caught your attention?
3. What part of the video pulled you in?
4. What did you feel when you were watching the protest scenes?
5. What did you feel when you were watching Mr. Ghonim speak?
6. What were some of his ideas?
7. Do you agree with or identify with Mr. Ghonim’s ideas?
8. What do you suppose Mr. Ghonim’s motivations were?
9. What kind of person do you think Mr. Ghonim is?
10. Do you think you have anything in common with him?
11. What do you think he might do now? What are some of the choices open to him?
12. What would be your title for this interview?

Statements made in the video:
13. The Regime was stupid, they ended themselves.
14. We are going to win because we don’t understand politics.
15. If there were no social network, does this revolution happen?
16. The only barrier to people uprise and revolution is the psychological barrier of fear. Regimes depend on fear [to stay in power].
17. The whole thing before the revolution was the most critical thing. (see Excerpt 1 below for partial description of how they organized.)
18. One of the strategic mistakes of this regime, was that they blocked Faceboook. they told 4 million people that they are scared like hell from the revolution. They forced everyone who was just waiting for news on Facebook, they forced them to go to the street to be part of this.
19. I forgive them, because one thing is that they were convinced that I was harming the country. they are simple people not educated, I cannot carry a conversation with him, so for him I’m kind of like a traitor, I’m destabilizing the country. He’s not hitting me because he’s a bad guy, he’s hitting me because he thinks he’s the good guy.
20. At the end of the last day, I removed my blindfold, and I said hi and kissed every one of them. I was sending them a message.
21. It was good that Obama supports the revolution, but we don’t really need him.
22. Dear western governments, you’ve been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years, please don’t get involved now. We don’t need you.
23. Ghonim has no interest in politics. He wants to go back to work at Google.
24. I get a lot of hate messages, accusing me of being a spy and a traitor and all that funny stuff.
25. I don’t care [if Mubarak is brought to trial]. What I want is I want all the money, of the Egyption people to come back, there are billions and billions of dollars that were stolen out of this country… with all these people in power, all the conflict of interest… we want the money back, it belongs to the Egyptian people. the people who were eating from the trash, that was their money.
26. (Inverviewer question: Can the events of the last two weeks be the foundation of the country?) That’s actually our responsibility. We’re now meeting a lot, because. This momentum needs to be capitalized on now.
27. The regime didn’t understand the social networking, but they totally underestimated the power of the people.

For more extra videos of this interview, you can go to the 60 Minutes website.

How the Revolution was Built
Excerpt 1: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/12/egypt-cairo-street-protests-tunisia-mubarak-obama?intcmp=239

1. Khaled Said was not the first Egyptian killed at the hands of Mubarak's police force, nor would he be the last.
2. …
3. But the brazen manner of this particular murder – on a public street and not behind the blacked-out windows of the Sidi Gabr police headquarters – and the fact that the victim was middle-class, … ensured that the name of Khaled Said quickly become synonymous with the staggering brutality and corruption of Mubarak's vast security apparatus, … .
4. "That was the turning point," claims Heba Morayef, the Human Rights Watch advocate in Egypt. "Prior to that, demonstrations in favour of political reform struck many ordinary Egyptians as somewhat abstract, even if they had vague sympathy with the sentiments being expressed.
5. After much dithering and buck-passing by the authorities, the two officers responsible (though not their seniors) were put on trial and mass protests in major cities began. The demonstrations were never more than a few thousand strong, and often smaller … .
6. Online, however, it was a different story. Kolina Khaled Said, a Facebook group meaning "We are all Khaled Said", quickly gathered hundreds of thousands, of supporters, who swapped information on other examples of inhumane police treatment and helped organise small-scale acts of civil disobedience.
7. Along with a loose network of more explicitly political online activist groups, the anonymous administrators behind Kolina Khaled Said – one of whom turned out to be Google's regional marketing executive, Wael Ghonim, who attended to the web page from his home 1,500 miles away in Dubai – tried to find creative ways to get round Egypt's suffocating legal prohibitions on collective action in an effort to make their voices heard on the ground.
8. Sometimes small groups of youths would "spontaneously" gather in city centres and sing the national anthem; on other occasions individuals wearing black would walk to the Nile at an appointed hour across the country and stand separately by the river in silence, an innocent routine that still managed to provoke a violent response from the security services.
9. …
10. But a change of tactics was essential if the omnipresent state security agencies were to be outwitted; 25 January, the date of a national holiday devoted to celebrating the achievements of the police force, was selected as the "day of rage" to exploit growing public resentment against Mubarak's security forces which had been fuelled so successfully by Kolina Khaled Said.
11. An umbrella coalition of youth activists formed small cells and spent the preceding weeks meeting in secret, plotting a series of devolved, localised protests designed to put maximum strain on the state security resources.
12. In Cairo, 20 protest sites in densely populated, largely working-class neighbourhoods were selected and publicised. One extra location, in the warren of back streets of the Giza neighbourhood of Bulaq Al-Duqrur, was never broadcast – and took police completely by surprise.
13. "Usually we rally in one place and immediately get kettled in by hundreds or thousands of riot police," said Ahmed Salah, who was involved in planning for 25 January.
14. "This time we were determined to do something different – be multi-polar, fast-moving, and too mobile for the amin markazi [central security forces], giving us the chance to walk down hundreds of different roads and show normal passers-by that taking to the streets was actually possible."
15. The plan worked better than they could ever have imagined. Throughout the capital and across the country, pockets of protest sprung up and overpowered the thinly stretched riot police, who had no choice but to let the marches continue. Later, when the different strands rallied in city centres – including Cairo's symbolic Tahrir Square –the police used guns and tear gas to disperse them.
16. But it was already too late. By destroying the smokescreen of police invincibility, even for only a few hours, the youths had pierced Mubarak's last line of defence – the fear his subjects felt at the thought of confronting him – and a fatal blow was struck to a 30-year dictatorial regime.