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A Facebook message that sparked Egypt protests

A 26-year-old woman worried about the state of her country wrote on Facebook: “People, I am going to Tahrir Square”. The message was soon to snowball into a movement to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

world Updated: Feb 03, 2011 23:16 IST

A 26-year-old woman worried about the state of her country wrote on Facebook: “People, I am going to Tahrir Square”. The message was soon to snowball into a movement to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Facebook appeal by Asmaa Mahfouz led to popular protests that saw tens of thousands congregating at Tahrir Square to demand an end to Mubarak’s unbridled 30-year rule. Mubarak has said he is ready to step down at the end of his term in September, but has refused to quit immediately now.

Violent clashes during the protests have left six dead and over 800 injured.

Asmaa Mahfouz told Al-Mihwar TV that the first activity was on Facebook.

“Yes. I was angry that everybody was saying that we had to take action, but nobody was doing anything. So I wrote on Facebook: 'People, I am going to Tahrir Square today'. This was a week before January 25."

“I wrote that I was going to demand the...rights of my country. I wrote that I was 26 years old...,” the Middle East Media Research Institute quoted her as saying.

Asmaa said: “Whenever we talked to the people and told them to express their views, they would say: “Who can we talk to? We will be thrown in prison and tortured.’”