Wael Ghonim, freed Google exec in Egypt, back in protests, back on Twitter
Google executive Wael Ghonim, released by the Egyptian government Monday morning, is back on the streets protesting and back on Twitter.
Gave my 2 cents to Dr. Hosam Badrawy [sic]. who was reason why I am out today. Asked him resign cause that's the only way I'll respect him #Jan25
Hossam Badrawi is secretary general of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party, the party of President Hosni Mubarak.
The protests in Egypt, entering their 14th day Monday, seek the ouster of Mubarak, who has held the presidency in Egypt for three decades. The demonstrations began on Jan. 25 — hence the #Jan25 hashtag on Twitter.
Ghonim, who is Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, was believed to have been taken into government custody on Jan. 27.
A video from SkyNews showed a protester being taken by plain clothes police and many believe that the man was Ghonim — though that hasn't yet been confirmed.
Since Jan. 27, Ghonim has emerged as a political hero of sorts for some demonstrators in Egypt.
The Google exec, a native of Cairo, was living and working in Duabi, United Arab Emirates, and left to join the protests. He did so against his family's wishes, according to what he wrote on Twitter.
On Friday, Egypt's April 6 opposition group elected Ghonim as its spokesman, stating that if the government wanted to talk to the group as a part of its negotiations to end the massive protests, it should speak with Ghonim, who was then jailed.
A brother of Ghonim said on Monday that after being freed the Google exec headed back to Tahrir Square, which has been one of the most active spots for anti-government protests in Cairo. The situation is relatively calm, but some violence has broken out in recent days, too.
Estimates from the United Nations state that about 300 people have been killed in clashes with police and Mubarak supporters since the demonstrations began.
— Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screenshot of a Twitter message sent by Wael Ghonim on Monday Feb. 7, shortly after being released from Egyptian government custody. Credit: Twitter