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EGYPT: Freed Google executive Wael Ghonim joins protests

February 8, 2011 |  9:05 am

A young Google Inc. executive received a thunderous welcome when he joined a massive demonstration in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, the day after he was released from 12 days of detention, according to news reports from Cairo.

 Many in the crowd said they were inspired by Wael Ghonim, who gave an emotional television interview Monday night in which he sobbed over those who have been killed in two weeks of clashes between protesters and security forces.

Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, administered a Facebook page that helped spark the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak's oppressive regime.

The Associated Press reports that Ghonim spoke briefly to the crowd, telling them, “We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime.”

When he finished speaking, the crowd erupted in cheering, whistling and deafening applause, AP said.

Protesters also gathered outside the parliament building in the capital and in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, Al Jazeera’s English-language network reported.


Egypt protests grow again; government offers new compromises

Full coverage of the uprising in Egypt: News, photos, video and more

-- Alexandra Zavis

Photo: Google Inc. executive Wael Ghonim (second from left) addresses protesters gathered Tuesday at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Credit: Dylan Martinez / Reuters