I am not socialist, I am not a liberal, I am not an Islamist. I am an Egyptian woman, a regular woman rejecting injustice and corruption in my country.
Many are giving credit to 26 year-old Asmaa Mahfouz for inspiring the protests with this video.
From the NYT:
This was certainly not the first time a young activist used the Internet — later virtually shut down by the government — as a tool to organize and mobilize, but it departed from the convenient, familiar anonymity of online activism.
More than that, it was a woman who dared put a face to the message, unfazed by the possibility of arrest for her defiance. “Do not be afraid,” she said.
When Ms. Mahfouz posted this bold video, she said she worried about the reaction that it might generate in a society that expected women to behave in a more subdued and reserved manner.
“I felt that doing this video may be too big a step for me, but then I thought: For how much longer will I continue to be afraid and hesitant? I had to do something,” Ms. Mahfouz said.
So much of the talk in this country about the potential outcome of this movement focuses on our fear of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and/or radical extremists. I'd like to see any of those folks try to silence women like Asmaa Mahfouz, Mariam Soleman and the others who have shown so much courage.