Tweets from Tahrir by Gigi Ibrahim
Egypt's Revolution as it Unfolded, in the Words of the People who Made It

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...a snapshot of one pivotal 24-hour period in this historic uprising, told by the people who made it happen.


The Twitter accounts of the activists who brought heady days of revolution to Egypt in January and February this year paint an exhilarating picture of an uprising in real-time. Thousands of young people documented on cell phones every stage of their revolution, as it happened. This book brings together a selection of key tweets in a compelling, fast-paced narrative, allowing the story of the uprising to be told directly by the people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Many of the activists were “citizen journalists”, using Twitter to report what was happening. Others used the social network to organize, communicating the next steps necessary for the revolution to move forward. Nearly everyone online gave instant reactions to the extraordinary events occurring before their eyes.

History has never before been written in this fashion. The tweet limit of 140 characters evidently concentrated the feelings of those using Twitter. Raw emotion bursts from their messages, whether frantic alarm at attacks from pro-government thugs or delirious happiness at the fall of the dictator. To read these tweets is to embark a rollercoaster ride, from the surprise and excitement of the first demonstration, to the horror of the violence that claimed hundreds of lives, to the final ecstasy of victory.

Many of those tweeting also took photographs with their phones and these illustrate the book, providing remarkable snapshots from the heart of the action.

Edited by young activists Alex Nunns and Nadia Idle, an Egyptian who was in Tahrir Square when Mubarak fell, Tweets from Tahrir is a highly original take on one of the most important and dramatic events in recent world politics. The result is as gripping as any thriller – but it’s all real.

About Gigi Ibrahim

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Nadia Idle is half-English, half-Egyptian, grew up in Egypt and now lives in London. She studied the odd and wonderful combination of Anthropology, Theater and Biology at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and later obtained an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, London. She works at War on Want, is a member of Barking Bateria, and campaigns against injustices big and small as a way of life. Her great beef is the privatisation of public goods and spaces, and don't even get her started on bottled water. Alex Nunns is a writer, campaigner and musician from London. He is the political correspondent for Red Pepper magazine, and he campaigns against the privatization of the National Health Service in England. Coming from a state school he somehow gained a place to study history at the University of Cambridge and received a first class degree with distinction. As a guitarist, songwriter and producer in a band he has toured and released records.Born in Cairo, Ahdaf Soueif is the award-winning author of a number of widely-praised books, among them The Map of Love (1999), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has sold over a million copies.
Published April 7, 2011 by OR Books. 286 pages
Genres: Other, Political & Social Sciences, History, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Tweets from Tahrir
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Reviewed by Nadia Idle on Apr 14 2011

...a snapshot of one pivotal 24-hour period in this historic uprising, told by the people who made it happen.

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The Independent

Reviewed by ROBERT FISK on Apr 23 2011 is deeply moving, a record of great courage, mostly by young people, facing Mubarak's legion of goons and regime thugs. Let me give you a taste of it, misspellings and all.

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Red Pepper.

Reviewed by Alex Nunns on Apr 01 2011

The ‘tweets’ of the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution represent some of the most remarkable real-time reporting ever seen.

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