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Egyptian protesters find a new figurehead

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Egyptian protesters find a new figurehead


Tahrir Square is still packed with demonstrators but three weeks in, keeping up the momentum of the protests in Cairo is becoming a concern.

And now, the arrival of one man has added fresh impetus to the call for President Mubarak to step down immediately.

Freed after a fortnight in jail, Wael Ghonin went straight to the square to rally the protesters.

“This is not the time for individuals, or parties or movements,” he told the crowd. “It is time to put Egypt first.”

Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East, Ghonim was seen being carted off by unidentified assailants two days after the protests began on January 25.

Neither Google nor his family knew what had happened and feared he was dead. He was not kept informed of events unfolding outside. But when an interviewer told him live on television that an estimated 300 people had died, he dissolved into tears.

Timely tears, as it turns out. Just two hours after the interview was broadcast, 70,000 people had signed up to Facebook pages supporting him.

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