Egypt is 10,000 kilometres away from the South Road.
But within minutes of Hosni Mubarak turning tail, we knew about it.
My laptop sits on the kitchen counter. I use it to find recipes, Skype my mom and my sister, research beekeeping, order my seeds and a gaggle of other daily things.
Through Twitter, I have been sharing the thoughts and activities of some very brave, eloquent people in Egypt. Sometimes a gut-wrenching, nail biting experience. Certainly one that had me saying prayers for those at Tahrir Square – many of them just ordinary middle class people, just like most of us. It’s been a privilege to be able to learn about what’s going on and what people were thinking, directly from them.
What an amazing world where you can be making chicken stock one minute and look at your computer screen and see a tweet from a woman who you have never met, but feel you know, who says: “He is gone. He is gone. Egypt is free.” Even before CBC has kicked into live programming.
Wael Ghonim is an Egyptian Google executive turned activist. He was doing well under the status quo. But then he started to push back. That’s when he was jailed. He started a Facebook Page that became a rallying point for Egyptians. He posted videos, stories of the violence, photographs and calls to action. But his wasn’t just a cyber protest. He had thought it through,and was willing to die if it came to it. It had happened to hundreds of other Egyptians since January 25.
I just heard him interviewed.
“I believe in 80 million Egyptians,” he said. I think he meant that there is a wisdom, a nobility and a will to do right in most of us. And when people are connected, they can create movements that make the world a better place.
My first journalism job was in a newsroom with electric typewriters, carbon paper and a darkroom where it took hours to get a photograph. Now, when the cause is right, 50,000 people can be called to action within hours of a post. And ordinary people across the globe can bear witness. Talk about power.
Right now I feel a little bit old remembering that. But so grateful to witness people using social media to change our world. Yes, I know that there are problems and there will be more. But still. I hope Egyptians give us the courage to stick together and push back when governments or corporations don’t operate in our best interest.
There has been revolution in Egypt. The other revolution is happening right on our cell phones and kitchen counters. There’s no going back.