Asmaa Mahfouz friended me on Facebook!

I’m so honored to have Asmaa Mahfouz of Cairo as a friend on Facebook. She’s the one who helped sparked the Egyptian revolution with her January 18 video on Facebook which I featured in my “Tahrir Voices” video. Her vlog inspired thousands of Egyptians to abandon their fear and join her in Tahrir Square to protest the repressive regime. Her vlog also drove the Egyptian government to block Facebook, Twitter, and the AlJazeera website, and contributed to the regime’s later shutdown of the Internet altogether in Egypt.

The video was later translated and  posted to youtube on February 1 by AyahElBagdhadi, where it quickly went viral (currently 188,000 views) and became a contributing force to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak ten days later on February 11.

Asmaa continues to be a vocal advocate of Egyptian freedom, and I am glad to be able to hear her important voice via Facebook. Asmaa has 4,666 other friends on Facebook, so this is not personal, but instead is a use of Facebook as a public face. This is such an important function of Facebook. I also “like” the pages of Wael Ghonim (283,938 likes), the Google exec who authored the “We Are All Khaled” Facebook page in Arabic, another contributing force in the Egyptian revolution, which I also “like” in the English version (119,443 likes). Of course, most of this is Arabic, which is a challenge, but well worth it to be able to hear the authentic voices of Egypt’s future.

Tahrir Voices, my new video

Here is my tribute to the Egyptian people. A labor of love. Mashup of discussion among Global Voices, Harvard Law School, and Berkman Center for Internet & Society using live AlJazeera footage from Tahrir Square. (Thanks to AJ English Creative Commons repository of video clips)
This is my entry in the Wired for Change remix competition.

Ezzai 2/11- Egypt Liberation Machinima, Second Life–with lyrics!

Here’s my latest machinima, a tribute of love and admiration for the brave heroes who ushered in freedom for Egypt! Virtual Egypt and Modern Egypt sims in Second Life were packed to capacity with avatars celebrating the news Friday February 11, 2011, that Mubarak had stepped down. Sympathizers came to the Egypt sim every day of the revolution since January 25 in support of the real-life protestors in their fight for freedom. Congratulations, Egypt! I join you dancing in Tahrir Square.

Music credits

The song “Ezzai” [English translation: “How Come?”] was recorded in November 2010 and released on February 6, 2011. It immediately went viral over the Internet and became the song of the revolution, sung throughout the streets of Cairo.

Sung by Mohamed Mounir.
Composed and arranged by Ahmed Farahat.
Lyrics by Nasr Al Din Nagy.

Translation
English translation of Arabic lyrics of “Ezzai” below.
Thanks to hopescalop on Overstream for the translation: http://www.overstream.net/view.php?oi…
See original “Ezzai” music video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIKcHI…

HOW COME?
How can you accept for me, my love
That I adore your name
While you only confuse me more
You do not feel my kindness.
How come?

I can’t find a motive to love you
or an excuse to love you so truly
How come I raise your head [make you proud]
And you bend my head [humiliate me].
How come?

I am the oldest street in you
And your hope against what happened to you
I am a child who got attached to you
Who you lost in the middle of the road
If your love was a choice
My heart would have changed.

I swear by your life I will keep changing
In you til you approve of me
How can you accept for me, my love
That I adore your name
While you only confuse me more?
You do not feel my kindness.
How come?

I can’t find a motive to love you
or an excuse to love you so truly
How come I raise your head [make you proud]
And you bend my head [humiliate me]?
How come?

How can you leave me in my weakness?
How come you are not standing on my side?
When I lived all my life
Just to not see fear in your eyes!
In your sea or your land
How can I protect your back
When my back at the end of the night
Sleeps bent and exposed?

I am the oldest street in you
And your hope in the harm that happened to you.
I am a child who got attached to you
Who you lost in the middle of the road.
If your love was a choice,
My heart would have changed.

I swear by your life I will keep changing
In you till you approve of me.
How can you accept for me, my love,
That I adore your name
While you only confuse me more?
You do not feel my kindness.
How come?