Monday, February 7, 2011
Egypt: February 7, 2011
Google Executive Released - Al Jazeera- English
Egyptian anti-government protesters have welcomed the release of a Google executive who disappeared in Cairo last month after playing a key role in helping demonstrators organise.
Wael Ghonim was released on Monday by Egyptian authorities, sparking a fast and explosive response from supporters, bloggers and pro-democracy activists on the internet.
Ghonim's release came nearly two weeks after he was reported missing on January 28 during protests against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
"Freedom is a bless[ing] that deserves fighting for it," Ghonim, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, wrote in a message posted on his Twitter account shortly after his release.
He was seized in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, late last month as he joined tens of thousands of protesters in the city's Tahrir Square, the focal point of protests aimed at calling on Mubarak to step down from his 30-year-rule in Egypt.
The prominent blogger spoke to Egypt's On TV after his release on Monday, pleading with reporters not to call him a hero.
"Please don't make me a hero. I'm not a hero. I have been asleep for 12 days," he said.
"I hope that we would be able to put an end to all the rubbish in this country. The rubbish really needs to be cleaned up."