Egypt Inspired by Nameless Facebooker

User known only as 'El Shaheed' fueled protests
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2011 11:53 AM CST
Egypt Inspired by Nameless Facebooker
Women carry a poster reading in French "Mubarak get out" during a protest in Cairo, Egypt, Monday Jan. 31, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manoocher Deghati)

The protests rocking Egypt have been fueled in part by a man who died before they began: Khaled Said, who was reportedly killed by police last summer. That’s the name that heads a Facebook page that has been helping to organize the demonstrations—but the page’s creator, who goes by the name El Shaheed, or martyr, remains completely anonymous, Newsweek reports. “There is no name. There is no leader. It is purely about the thought,” says an activist.

Tunisia gave Egyptians hope many had lost “years ago,” El Shaheed told Newsweek in an interview over Gmail chat before Internet access was cut. But “the power of Facebook is that our updates reach to everyone's wall.” When an update is "out, it goes everywhere. It’s unstoppable." Protests can’t begin and end online, though, El Shaheed noted: They must hit the streets. And so he or she pushed support for last Friday's protests, vowing all the while to stay anonymous: "I don’t want any glory. I wasn’t seeking it to start with." Since the Internet has been cut, the Facebook page, We Are All Khaled Said, has been inactive. But as Newsweek notes, perhaps it has already played its crucial role.
(Read more Egypt stories.)

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