Freed Google Exec: I'm Proud I Helped Spark Egypt Revolt

We are not traitors, sobs Wael Ghonim
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 8, 2011 2:21 AM CST
Egyptian Wael Ghonim, a Google Inc. marketing manager, talks at his home in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb.7, 2011. A Google manager held in Egypt for about 10 days over anti-government protests was freed...   (AP Photo/Ahmed Ali)

(Newser) – A Google executive freed after 12 days in Egyptian detention admitted yesterday he was behind the Facebook page that helped spark the nation's uprising—and he sobbed as he spoke passionately about needed change in his homeland. He ripped authorities for calling him a traitor, reports AP. "Anyone with good intentions is the traitor because being evil is the norm," said Wael Ghonim, who overseas Google marketing in the Mideast. "If I was a traitor, I would have stayed in my villa in the Emirates and made good money and said like others, 'Let this country go to hell.' But we are not traitors."

He said he was terrified as he was held blindfolded for his entire time in detention, and discussed his role running the Facebook page "We are all Khaled Said." The site has been a critical organizing tool and inspiration for the Egyptian revolt. The murder of Said, a young businessman killed last year by Egyptian secret police, has become a flashpoint for discontent in the nation. Ghonim is reluctantly claiming his role in the revolution that has now claimed nearly 300 lives. "I didn't want anyone to know that I am the administrator" of the Facebook page, he said. "There are no heroes; we are all heroes on the street. I want to tell every mother and father: I am sorry. I swear it is not our fault. It is the fault of everyone who held on tight to authority and didn't want to let go." (Read more Egypt stories.)

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