January 25 2011. This is when the social movement, also known as the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, began in Egypt. Riots, rallies, and marches are only a few things taking place in the streets of Egypt. The goal: to overthrow Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In an attempt to discontinue the hysteria of the online spreading of opposition against the President, the entire Internet was shut down overnight. Every day we hear more about war, chaos, and governmental issues going on in the world and it's crazy to think that a lot of this can be encouarged by the internet. Through the Eyes of Egypt is a blog characterized to discuss the thoughts and opinions of individuals regarding these issues as well as the impact social media can have on the world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Colonel Qaddafi seemed to never be an ally of, well, pretty much any country. Qaddafi has been a Libyan leader since 1969 and has sought to spread Libya’s influence in Africa. The United States cut ties after the American Embassy was burned in 1979. Libya’s actions are most notorious for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland which killed 270 people in 1988. Since then there have been various ups and downs with Qaddafi and his leadership.

In February, there were protests in several parts of Libya that were known as the Day of Rage to challenge Colonel Qaddafi’s 41-year-old iron rule. Although these protests were challenging Qaddafi, the state media showed Libyans waving green flags, showing support for him. Qaddafi blamed the turmoil on “foreign hands,” a small group of people distributing pills, brainwashing, and the na├»ve desire of young people to imitate the uprisings in Egypt.

Speaking of Egypt, as of February 24, authorities arrested Anas al-Fiqqi and Osama el-Sheikh, Egypt’s former information minister and the chairman of state TV and radio on corruption allegations. These are arrests were made by the military against figures in former President Mubarak’s regime. Mubarak is evidently suffering from pancreatic and colon cancer and is no longer in Egypt, but in Saudi Arabia being treated with chemotherapy. Egypt’s stock exchange is still suspended until further notice.

On a not so much lighter note, social networking sites are noted for helping investigations. Postings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter are useful in finding clues to a suspect’s locations and acquaintances. According to a New York Times article, “Facebook and other forms of public electronic communication embed themselves in people’s lives, the postings, rants and messages that appear online are emerging as a new trove for the police and prosecutors to sift through after crimes. Such sites are often the first place they go.” Books have even been published about how social media is now affecting the law.

It’s crazy to think that I began writing this blog because I wanted to make people aware of the instability occurring in Egypt and now in Libya and the connections the turmoil has with social media. Social media has affected the civilians in Egypt and in Libya in many ways and continuously impacts our society in countless ways. I always find it interesting to see the new ways social media can both benefit and damage the lives people live.


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