'This Week' Transcript: Hillary Clinton

AMANPOUR: And this week, Secretary Clinton called on governments around the world to respect and promote free access to the Internet. And when we return, we'll take you inside the revolution with the anonymous online revolutionaries who launched a movement.


AMANPOUR: As we now know, behind the wave of uprisings in the Middle East is a generation of educated, Internet-savvy, young Arab professionals. And their weapons? Social media, mostly made in America, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook. In the darkest days of the protests in Egypt, two anonymous activists kept the online movement alive.

This week, they agreed to tell us the gripping story of their fight for freedom, which was not with tanks, but with tech.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Incredibly, one of the key players in the online youth movement that helped bring down Hosni Mubarak was a 34- year-old Egyptian-American who never left Washington.

WAHAB: I had contacts on the ground. People were asking me to get messages to them. People would turn to me and be like, "What should we do?" And I'd be like, "Well, I don't know. I never started a revolution before."

AMANPOUR: A year ago, Nadine Wahab connected online with the young Google marketing executive and anti-government activist Wael Ghonim.

GHONIM: They are basically a bunch of thugs, thieves, and, you know, who have been ruining their -- our country. They're so 1970, and we're so 2010.

AMANPOUR: They'd been trying to mobilize demonstrations through Facebook since June of last year. And at first, the protests were small. But on January 25th, they posted this page calling for a protest that mushroomed into a full-scale revolt. How?

A week earlier, not so far way in Tunisia, young people had forced out their authoritarian president. They had also taken advantage of an explosion of social media that in just the last four years has electrified the Arab and Muslim world.

(on-screen): Is this explosion of technology, the access among so many people, is this the reason for these revolutions and uprisings that are going on, the turmoil?

GHOSH: It's a planning tool, an organizing tool. AMANPOUR (voice-over): Bobby Ghosh has been reporting on the youth movement for this week's Time magazine and says it's been key to spreading revolutionary fervor.

GHOSH: So Tunisians can talk to Egyptians. Egyptians can talk to Yemenis. And it shows them that they're not alone.

AMANPOUR: Arab satellite television also played a role. Electrified by what happened in Tunis, young Egyptians used Facebook to call for a protest in Tahrir Square.

GHONIM: I put out an event and say, if 100,000 people confirm in three days, then I'm going to take this seriously and, you know, try and make it 1 million.

AMANPOUR: Wael Ghonim blogged anonymously. So did his friend, Ahmed Saleh, a young lawyer, and they exchanged key tactical advice online.

SALEH: On pages, on personal accounts, on groups that have very specific instructions from Tunisians to Egyptians. And so it gives you instructions on how to deal with the tear gas, on how to deal with police generally, what the times of the day is better for you to go to the street, how to deal with rubber bullets.

AMANPOUR: The Facebook page became their corner cafe, the place to meet, to recruit and share ideas.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...