Transfixed for weeks over events in Egypt (and other parts of the Mideast), I have begun to see the real power of Twitter. I added to my Hootsuite account the hashtag #Jan25. (A hashtag – # followed words – is a user defined marker added to a tweet that connects disparate tweets into an ongoing conversation on the same topic.).
#Jan25 provides a constantly updating conversation about events in Tahrir Square and elsewhere. It combines first person experiences – why I chose to come to Tahrir – with journalist accounts of why they are witnessing – to retweets of support from people around the world.
Thru #Jan25 I have followed:
- CNN’s Ben Wedeman @bencnn
- NYTimes’ Nicholas Kristof @NickKristoff
- And other journalists from all over the world.
Far be it from me to pontificate on what should be happening in Egypt, who I want to lead the country or what the future will bring.
Rather, I know this:
- I believe that people should be free to speak their minds and express their concerns. They have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit if happiness and holiness.
- I hope Egypt will not become another outpost of extremist Islam. I do believe that people can be Muslim and practice Islam and NOT be extremist.
- I expect that a new Egypt can retain a peace treaty with Israel and work together toward a safe, secure Mideast peace.
Thomas Friedman had a great article on Monday in which he described his experiences and what he is witnessing in Tahrir Square. He notes that they are talking about jobs, freedom, hope and an end to the police state. They were not talking about Muslim Brotherhood, or Israel or the Palestinians. That was good.
So sign up for Twitter, open up your account and start following events around the world. It is eye opening, engaging and world transforming.