Name : Wael Ghonim
Born : December 23, 1980 (age 30)
Birth Place : Cairo, Egypt
Residence : Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Nationality : Egyptian
Occupation: Head of Marketing of Google Middle East and North Africa ,
Internet Activist ,Computer Engineer
Years active: 1998 –present
Employer: Google Inc. (on sabbatical)
Religion : Muslim
About Wael Ghonim : Wael Ghonim other transliterations include: Ghoneim, Ghonaim) (born 23 December 1980 in Cairo, Egypt) is an Internet activist and computer engineerwith an interest in social entrepreneurship.
In 2011, he became an international figure and energized pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt after his emotional interview following 11 days of secret incarceration by Egyptian police—during which he was interrogated regarding his work as the administrator of the Facebook page, "We are all Khaled Saeed", which helped spark the revolution.The TIME magazine added him in its "Time 100" list of 100 most influential people of 2011.
Background : Wael Ghonim was born to a middle-class family on 23 December 1980 in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in Abha, Saudi Arabia until he was 13 years old, then he moved back to live in Cairo. In January 2010, Wael was promoted to "Head of Marketing" at Google in the Middle East & North Africa and moved to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
He earned a BS in computer engineering from Cairo University in 2004 and an MBA, with honors, in marketing and finance from the American University in Cairo in 2007
Career :From 1998–2002 Wael founded and managed one of the most visited websites in the Arab world<http://www.islamway.com>Until 2005 he was Marketing and Sales Manager of Gawab.In 2005, Wael left Gawab to establish Mubasher.info a pioneering financial portal in the region.Wael joined Google Middle East and North Africa as their Regional Marketing Manager in 2008 based at Google Egypt.In January 2010 Wael became Head of Marketing of Google Middle East and North Africa based at Google's UAE office in Dubai Internet City in Dubai.During the Egyptian revolution of 2011 Wael took leave from Google to focus on his work in Egypt and the Middle East. He has also been a consultant on the development of the Egyptian e-government portal, and a participant in the ongoing political discussion after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak
Involvement in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 : In 2010, Wael Ghonim founded a Facebook page titled, "We Are All Khaled Said," supporting Khaled Said, a young Egyptian who was tortured to death by police in Alexandria. Wael Ghonim used this page in moving and integrating the anti-government protests of the 25th of Jan revolution.He first made an announcement on the page on the 14th of Jan asking members if they were going to plan on taking to the streets on 25th of Jan and do what Tunisia did? In less than 2 hours he published an event entitled: 25 يناير على التعذيب والفساد والظلم والبطالة [January 25: Revolution against Torture, Corruption, Unemployment and Injustice]. This was the first invitation and many others followed. He anonymously collaborated with activists on the ground to announce the locations for the protest.
The page also organized interesting activities such as the Silent Stands and the Police Communication Campaign.
In January 2011, Ghonim persuaded Google to allow him to return to Egypt, citing a "personal problem". He came to Egypt to partake in the Egyptian Revolution but he disappeared on 27 January during the nationwide unrest in Egypt. His family told Al-Arabiya and other international media that he was missing. Google also issued a statement confirming the disappearance. Many bloggers like Chris DiBonaand Habib Haddad campaigned in an attempt to identify his whereabouts.
On 5 February 2011, Mostafa Alnagar, a major Egyptian opposition figure,reported that Wael Ghonim was alive and detained by the authorities and to be released 'within hours'. On 6 February 2011, Amnesty International demanded that the Egyptian authorities disclose where Ghonim was and to release him.
On 7 February, Ghonim was released after 11 days in detention. Upon his release, he was greeted with cheers and applause when he stated: "We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime."
The same day, Ghonim appeared on the Egyptian channel DreamTV on the 10:00 pm programme hosted by Mona El-Shazly. In the interview he praised the protesters and mourned the dead as the host read their names and showed their pictures, eventually rising, "overwhelmed," and walking off camera. The host followed. In the interview, he also urged that they deserved attention more than he did, and calling for the end of the Mubarak regime, describing it again as 'rubbish'. He also asserted his allegiance to Egypt, saying that he would never move to the United States, the homeland of his wife. Becoming a symbol of the revolution in Egypt, Ghonim stated that he is "ready to die" for the cause.
At the end ..., he gathered himself for a few seconds and tried to make the most of the platform [El-Shazly] had given him. 'I want to tell every mother and every father who lost a child, I am sorry, but this is not our mistake,' he said. 'I swear to God, it’s not our mistake. It’s the mistake of every one of those in power who doesn’t want to let go of it.'"
On 9 February, Ghonim addressed the crowds in Tahrir Square, telling the protesters: "This is not the time for individuals, or parties, or movements. It's a time for all of us to say just one thing: Egypt above all."
Wael Ghonim also made an appearance on "60 Minutes", sitting down with Harry Smith. During his interview he said:
"Our revolution is like Wikipedia, okay? Everyone is contributing content, [but] you don't know the names of the people contributing the content. This is exactly what happened. Revolution 2.0 in Egypt was exactly the same. Everyone contributing small pieces, bits and pieces. We drew this whole picture of a revolution. And no one is the hero in that picture."The scholar Fouad Ajami writes about the revolution:
"No turbaned ayatollah had stepped forth to summon the crowd. This was not Iran in 1979. A young Google executive, Wael Ghonim, had energized this protest when it might have lost heart, when it could have succumbed to the belief that this regime and its leader were a big, immovable object. Mr. Ghonim was a man of the modern world. He was not driven by piety. The condition of his country—the abject poverty, the crony economy of plunder and corruption, the cruelties and slights handed out to Egyptians in all walks of life by a police state that the people had outgrown and despaired of—had given this young man and others like him their historical warrant."
Role after the revolution : In April 2011 Ghonim announce he was taking a "long term sabbatical" from Google in order to start a "technology focused NGO to help fight poverty & foster education in Egypt."
In May 2011 Ghonim said that he has signed "Revolution 2.0" book deal.All proceeds from the book will go the NGO he started in Egypt to fight poverty and provide education.
Awards : Wael Ghonim topped Time magazine’s yearly list of the world’s 100 most influential people. On 26 April, He arrived in New York to be honored at the 2011 Time 100 Gala ceremony where he begain his speech with a moment of silence to mark those killed in protests around the Arab world.
On 3 May,World Press Freedom Day, Wael Ghonim was awarded with the Press Freedom prize from the Swedish division of Reporters without Borders. http://sv.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wael_Ghonim&oldid=15047271
Wael Ghonim also received the JFK Profile in Courage Award. On 23 May, Caroline Kennedy,
daughter of President John F. Kennedy, presented the awards to Elizabeth Redenbaugh and Wael Ghonim, who was named a recipient on behalf of “the people of Egypt.” Kennedy said she could think of no better recipients.
Wael Ghonim was ranked the second most powerful Arab in Arabian Business's annual Power 500 of the world's most influential Arabs.
The magazine's annual report stated Ghonim as the primary contributor to the promotion and coordination of the movement of Egyptian youth through "Facebook", adding that Ghonim came to international fame via commercial news outlets word of mouth after his leadership of the Egyptian revolution.
Personal life : Ghonim is married to an American Muslim -Ilka Johannson- and has two children, Israa and Adam.