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Egypt's Wael Ghonim: 'Revolutions Are Processes ... It Will Take Time'

Wael Ghonim talking with reporters on Feb. 8, 2011, in Cairo's Tahrir Square as protests there continued.
Khaled Desouki
AFP/Getty Images
Wael Ghonim talking with reporters on Feb. 8, 2011, in Cairo's Tahrir Square as protests there continued.

It's been nearly a year since Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Arab Spring as his online organizing efforts and his arrest helped draw people and attention to the demands by many Egyptians for reform — a movement that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

On Morning Edition today, host Steve Inskeep spoke with Ghonim about what has happened in Egypt since then and whether there's a sense of disappointment there that reforms aren't coming faster.

Ghonim, who just published a book called Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater than the People in Power, focused on "achievements" rather than what hasn't happened yet.

"For the first time in Egyptian modern history after 1952," he said, "30 million people took to the streets to vote ... and the result was a reflection of the people's choice."

What's more, he said, "revolutions are processees, not events. It will take time."

Still, Ghonim added, it is true that more needs to be done. "We will say we are happy with the democratic development when there is a complete power transfer through democratic transition by electing a president and having all the authority with the elected parliament and president," he told Steve.

As we've previously reported, while parliamentary elections have been held it will likely be the middle of this year before presidential elections are held in Egypt.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Wael Ghonim

Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.