Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Wael Ghonim Visits Silicon Valley But Leaves Google

Wael Ghonim, the Google executive detained by the Egyptian government who reluctantly became the face of the Egyptian people’s revolution after helping organize protesters using social media, will leave Google to start an NGO. Ghonim tweeted this weekend, “Decided to take a long term sabbatical from @Google & start a technology focused NGO to help fight poverty & foster education in #Egypt.”

Ghonim had been in Silicon Valley last week to visit Google, Twitter, and Dogpatch Labs. Googlers gave him a standing ovation at an appearance at a company staff meeting that was described as “emotional.”

In a speech at Stanford University organized by the school’s Muslim Student Awareness Network, Ghonim “spent the bulk of his talk outlining practical steps that can be taken to rebuild Egypt, calling upon his audience to mimic the ‘independent initiative’ of the protestors,” according to a campus newspaper report. He also invited attendees to sign up to help Egypt on a Google Doc.

Ghonim has given much credit to the Internet and specifically Facebook for helping facilitate the Egyptian uprising.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle