Edited by Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns
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.
“A compelling and unique story of the popular uprising that rid Egypt of a three decade-old dictatorship in just 18 days” —Bob Garfield, On the Media, NPR
“Deeply moving, a record of great courage, mostly by young people, facing Mubarak's legion of goons and regime thugs.” —Robert Fisk, The Independent