Rami Abdoch is a blogger, writer and Anthropology/Sociology major at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. He has given me permission to repost this from his blog It's an excellent piece analyzing the current crisis in Egypt:
Here is an excerpt:
Tunisia’s revolt, dubbed by some as the “Jasmine Revolution,” was apparently sparked by a young man named Mohamed Bouazizi setting himself on fire, feeling hopeless at his potential in life. His fruit stand was seized because he did not have a permit, even though he had a university degree. It is difficult to imagine the ethos and proverbial lock felt in the heart and mind of a person that would lead him to do such a horrendous thing to himself. Afterward, some 3 or 4 individuals from both Egypt and Tunisia did the same to themselves, seemingly without knowledge of this initial incidence. A mere coincidence? These incidents spread via the internet, ballooning into the week long protests in Tunisia that caused president Ben Ali to be deposed. My sense is that the people of Egypt, filled with hope after seeing the Ben Ali ousted, took that hope and began mass-scale protests in Egypt. This spurred the Egyptian government to shutdown the Internet completely to slow the mobilization of its people and protests, as social media was the driving force behind Tunisia’s revolt, largely as a result of tech-savvy youth. The importance of social media cannot be underscored enough. Youth quickly got to work on posters, slogans, and organized rallies, primarily via Twitter and Facebook. The majority of Tunisia’s population is under 30, which is also the case in Egypt. The fervor of a young population in tandem with social media mobilization has enabled these movements to spread at tremendous speed. Also, both countries’ citizens have largely the same misgivings, primarily economic. Egyptians thought to themselves: “If Tunisians can do it, we can do it” Thus, the ripple effect of revolution. Carpe diem, Middle East style.
Check it out!