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Posted at 11:31 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Wael Ghonim, Google executive rouses crowds as Egypt enters 15th day of protests (Video)

By Melissa Bell
wael ghonim
Egyptian anti-government demonstrators gather at Cairo's Tahrir Square. (Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP)

Tens of thousands of protesters fill Tahrir Square with gridlock traffic all around central Cairo, even as the government presents a picture of a country returning to normal life. Talks continue between the government and opposition groups, but the demonstrators continue to demand Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's immediate removal.

And the protests may have found a new figurehead to bolster any wavering spirits: Wael Ghonim, the Google executive detained January 28 and released Monday after international pressure.

He spoke to the crowds on Tuesday saying, "For a long time, I've been saying we have a voice that should be heard. We have a right that should be taken seriously. We will take that right, even if we die as martyrs. Your demands are my demands. For the president to step down is our demand from now on," the Wall Street Journal reports.

He wrote on Twitter after his visit to the square:

Dear Egyptians, Failure is not an option #Jan25less than a minute ago via web

Despite his insistence to news cameras on Monday that he is not a hero, judging from the chatter on Twitter, he is offering up a new rallying point. An emotionally charged interview aired Monday night with an independent Egyptian news channel. In it, Ghonim broke down when presented with photographs of men killed during the violence. As he wept, he said the deaths were not the protesters' fault but the government's fault and then he walked off the set.

Here are his first words after his release:

Here's his interview with an Egyptian talk show. If you can't see the captions, press "cc" in the lower right corner:

Here's the Associated Press report from earlier Tuesday:

By Melissa Bell  | February 8, 2011; 11:31 AM ET
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Comments

In a nation where 40 million Egyptians live on less than two dollars a day there is discontent in the land of the pyramids. Gluttony is a sin under Sharia Law, it will be ended by tax collectors knocking on the doors of the greedy. Sinners will be punished by the Grand Mufti until the land is free of hoarders and infidels.

Posted by: morristhewise | February 8, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

CAN OBAMA WILL TAKE THE CALL?Even though it is too late, more than 14 days have passed, Obama and his team is playing dirty politics only to save their puppets and Israel in that part of the world. Obama-Hillary and Biden has failed the America's reputation as the champion of freedom and democracy on this Globe by making waves in removing the 30 years Egyptian dictator and several others. Obama must take a bold decision to stand up for our principles and call for Mubarak to leave the office, now and see that no military general is taking the command. Yes, it would be risky but being a super power we must take that healthy risk rather than risk of illegal and immoral WAR and allowing human sufferings, we have carried out in Iraq, Afghanistan and several other places. At this time, Egyptians and other Arabs and Muslims are revolting against their dictators for their human sufferings alone and not against American imperialism or our hegemony and dictate but soon time will change and these 300 million human beings of this land will really revolt against AMERICA and Israel and we will be too late to stop that bloody revolt. Obama will be responsible for not one but many Iran in that part of the world.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | February 8, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"...until the land is free of hoarders and infidels"...

another whack-job theocracy...gather your wives and daughters and run like he11

Posted by: underboss | February 8, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"until the land is free of hoarders and infidels"...

Posted by: underboss
"another whack-job theocracy...gather your wives and daughters and run like he11"

I think the "until the land is free of hoarders and infidels" was a quote from Glen Beck talking about the liberal/socialists in the US.


Posted by: kparc1212 | February 8, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

CAN OBAMA WILL TAKE THE CALL?Even though it is too late, more than 14 days have passed, Obama and his team is playing dirty politics only to save their puppets and Israel in that part of the world. Obama-Hillary and Biden has failed the America's reputation as the champion of freedom and democracy on this Globe by making waves in removing the 30 years Egyptian dictator and several others. Obama must take a bold decision to stand up for our principles and call for Mubarak to leave the office, now and see that no military general is taking the command. Yes, it would be risky but being a super power we must take that healthy risk rather than risk of illegal and immoral WAR and allowing human sufferings, we have carried out in Iraq, Afghanistan and several other places. At this time, Egyptians and other Arabs and Muslims are revolting against their dictators for their human sufferings alone and not against American imperialism or our hegemony and dictate but soon time will change and these 300 million human beings of this land will really revolt against AMERICA and Israel and we will be too late to stop that bloody revolt. Obama will be responsible for not one but many Iran in that part of the world.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet
-----------------------------------

Please save your slanted political rumbling for those without any knowledge of the US/Egypt policy. Mubarak's government has been supported by past Administrations Democrat and Republican alike. If Egypts revolt against America then the blame will be spread to all administrations that supported the dictator's 30 year reign. It's a wonder the Egyptians haven't revolted against the US now. Our meddling in the political affairs of countries in that region is legendary.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | February 8, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Wael Ghonim is a punk kid, who doesn't know what a free election is. Why Google hasn't fired this crud, is anybody's guess.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | February 8, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I am not an American. I am a muslim, non-Arab, who every morning dreams a better world for humanity. A world, where Muslims and Christian westerners live in peace and respect with one and another. And for that dream to realize, it is a great opportunity for America to support the youthful pro-democratic movements across the Arab world that are hungry for democracy and freedom – the very pillars on which America were once found. The time has come for America to win the minds and hearts of the people in the Arab world. It is not wisdom to support a fading dictator who is 82. Neither is Omar Suleiman the right man to endorse. These old, autocrats will soon perish, and the Egyptian youth will never forgive America if Obama now does not take the chance and choose the democratic young movements of the Muslim world. It is now or never. Short term tactics called “stability” preferred over long term real stability is just stupidity.

Posted by: john1836 | February 8, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Muslims have been angrily accusing the U.S. of interference for decades and now they want U.S. interference.

Posted by: shewholives | February 8, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

This guy strikes me as a jihadist at heart.

Posted by: Alon1 | February 8, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Muslims have been angrily accusing the U.S. of interference for decades and now they want U.S. interference.
-------------------------------------------------------
Actually they are not! Not sure where you got that from but the only people talking about US being involved are Americans - the left asking the president to support the protesters and the right bashing him for not supporting an ally and others angry that the US is still supporting Mubarak. They want the US to stay out of this and I have watched many of the protesters repeat this.

Posted by: gandalong3 | February 8, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Hah at the terrible trolling by CFE and Alon. He's a bright guy just wants freedom for his country. Google is going to not comment on anything until this is all over.

Posted by: Nissl | February 9, 2011 1:23 AM | Report abuse

In response to blogs from 6thsense79 and from citysoilverizonnet, the Eisenhower administration was most responsible for a lot of American intervention all over the World. To start with, it approved a secret CIA plan to overthrow Castro. It provided billions of military aid for the French to fight against Ho Chi Minh in early 1950. In 1958, President Eisenhower ordered 14,000 American soldiers to Lebanon to quell opposition to the regime.

The results of the Eisenhower policy of interventions were: the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961 followed by the Cuban missile crisis; the sudden massive US evacuation out of South Vietnam in 1975; and the bombing of the Marines barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

Posted by: mnguyen4 | February 9, 2011 6:03 AM | Report abuse

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