Wael Ghonim was an instrumental leader in the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011. But back then, he didin’t have an activism background. When a young man was killed by police in the city of Alexandria, he started a Facebook group “We Are All Khaled Said ” that quickly garnered 30,000 followers.
“I worked at Google, had a great job, based in Dubai. But I was not really happy. I was always frustrated looking at my country and how the young generations had been losing hope,” he told the crowd at Fusion’s RiseUp event. “I felt responsibility to do something better. Fight that and not be silent.”
Ghonim was detained by Egyptian authorities for 11 days. “In jail, I realized it doesn’t really matter how many years I live or places I go to. What really matters is what values I live by,” he said. “I realized is that change is going to be gradual and revolutions are going to be processes.”