Synopses & Reviews
"A thrilling account of Egypts revolution"
(Salon) written by a Cairo-based reporter for
Time Magazine, now updated and expanded
In early 2011, the worlds attention was riveted on Cairo, where after three decades of supremacy, Hosni Mubarak was driven from power. It was a revolution as swift as it was explosive. For eighteen days, anger, defiance, and resurgent national pride reigned in the streets---protestors of all ages struck back against police and state security, united toward the common goal of liberation.
But the revolution was more than a spontaneous uprising. It was the end result of years of mounting tension, brought on by a state that shamelessly abused its authority, rigging elections, silencing opposition, and violently attacking its citizens. When revolution bloomed in the region in January 2011, Egypt was a country whose patience had expired---with a people suddenly primed for liberation.
As a journalist based in Cairo, Ashraf Khalil was an eyewitness to the perfect storm that brought down Mubarak and his regime. Khalil was subjected to tear gas alongside protestors in Tahrir Square, barely escaped an enraged mob, and witnessed the day-to-day developments from the frontlines. From the halls of power to the back alleys of Cairo, he offers a one-of-a-kind look at a nation in the throes of an uprising.
Now updated with chapters on the post-revolutionary rise to power and rapid downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood and the reign of Mohamed Morsi, Liberation Square is a revealing and dramatic look at the revolution that transformed the modern history of one of the worlds oldest civilizations.
"This compelling, nuanced, and engaging account of the end of Hosni Mubarak's 29-year reign describes 'an intellectually bankrupt and cynical blank space of a regime' that collapsed, leading to a tectonic shift of power. Egyptian-American journalist Khalil, writing for Foreign Policy and the Times of London, blends astute observations with reportage of the demonstrations as they unfolded, sketching out parallel rationales for the downfall of 'a Middle Eastern dictatorial Forrest Gump' whose internal security apparatus broke down after its vilest abuses were widely publicized. In addition, he explores the role of social media in sustaining revolutionary energy and provides riveting accounts of the January demonstrations that clinched the end of the regime. The withering scorn heaped on the toppled government is deliciously expressed: 'The final days of the Mubarak regime featured a multitude of generally shameless, desperate, and tone-deaf reactions and tactics.' While it is left to Middle East scholars and political scientists to parse the next chapters in revolutionary Egypt's staggeringly complex story, Khalil's account is essential reading, evoking the urgency and vitality of the Arab spring's Egyptian chapter. The author's decades of experience and seasoned skepticism point up the central truth of the uprising and the government's failed response: 'Mubarak still didn't get it: The problem was him.' Agent: David Patterson, Foundry Literary + Media. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A thrilling account of Egypts revolution. . . . Whats remarkable about Liberation Square is how good it is, how well written, how perfectly calibrated in its amounts of background, commentary and prognostication—and above all how thrilling it is to read.” —Salon
“Compelling, nuanced, and engaging. . . . Blends astute observations with reportage of the demonstrations as they unfolded. . . . Khalils account is essential reading, evoking the urgency and vitality of the Arab springs Egyptian chapter.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A personal account that will be appreciated by those looking to move beyond the day's headlines, from one who wrote some of the stories published under those headlines.” —Kirkus Reviews
Wael Ghonim was a little-known, 30-year-old Google executive in the fall of 2010, when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. In Revolution 2.0 this key figure behind the Egyptian uprising tells the inside, riveting story of what happened, and presents lessons for all of us on how to unleash the power of crowds.
“A gripping chronicle of how a fear-frozen society finally topples its oppressors with the help of social media.” — San Francisco Chronicle
Wael Ghonim was a little-known, thirty-year-old Google executive in the summer of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s following expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement. On January 25, 2011, Tahrir Square resounded with calls for change. Yet just as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation. After he was released, he gave a tearful speech on national television, and the protests grew more intense. Four days later, the president of Egypt was gone.
In this riveting story, Ghonim takes us inside the movement and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds. In Revolution 2.0, we can all be heroes.
“Revolution 2.0 is an engaging read, and it offers a sharply detailed look from the inside of an uprising that owed almost as much to social media connections as it did to anti-Mubarak passions.” — Los Angeles Times
“Revolution 2.0 excels in chronicling the roiling tension in the months before the uprising, the careful organization required and the momentum it unleashed.” — NPR.org
About the Author
Wael Ghonim was born in Cairo and grew up in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, earning a degree from Cairo University in 2004 and an MBA from the American University in Cairo in 2007. He joined Google in 2008, rising to become Head of Marketing for Google Middle East and North Africa. He is currently on sabbatical from Google to launch an NGO supporting education and technology in Egypt.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Cairo BurningChapter 1: The Accidental DictatorChapter 2: Signposts on the Way to TahrirChapter 3: "And What if We Say ‘No?"Chapter 4: The Emergency Law MartyrChapter 5: The Rigged GameChapter 6: The ElBaradei EffectChapter 7: Uncharted WatersChapter 8: Safwats Last StandChapter 9: The Fall of the Police StateChapter 10: Thug RuleChapter 11: The Battle of TahrirChapter 12: The Golden Age of the Republic of TahrirChapter 13: Jazeera Under SiegeChapter 14: "We Need to Drag Him From His Castle"Chapter 15: "One Hand" DividedChapter 16: The Bearded HordesChapter 17: Tearing Down the Propaganda MachineChapter 18: The ReckoningEpilogue: The Cairo EffectUpdate:1. The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood2. The President of the Islamists
3. Endgame: "A Lazy Failure"