Egypt’s “Facebook Girl” visits D.C.
Human Rights First is honored to be hosting Esraa Abdel Fattah for a week of events in Washington, D.C. Esraa is a leading Egyptian democracy and human rights activist. In April 2008, she was imprisoned for her role in organizing what became known as the April 6th Facebook Protests, a mobilization of thousands of young people demanding political change, and which helped fuel the youth movement behind the mass protests that brought down President Mubarak on February 11, 2011. During the January 2011 nationwide protests in Egypt, Esraa was active on the Internet, on the ground in Tahrir Square, and in media—including on Al Jazeera TV, regularly updating the news on the opposition. Esraa is a prominent spokesperson for the youth protest movement in Egypt. On March 15, she was among a group of activists who met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo. In addition, Esraa is a leader in various associations that promote democracy and human rights. She is the Media Director of the Egyptian Democratic Academy that trains young people in media production (radio, video and blogs), and carries out voter registration and election monitoring. In 2011, Esraa was nominated as one of the 100 most powerful Arab women by Business Magazine. Watch Esraa describe her initiative using new media for election transparency in Egypt: Human Rights First is scheduling public events and private meetings for Esraa in Washington from April 1-7. She will give insight into the democratic movements in Egypt right now, including the role of Facebook and social media in the revolution, and a path forward to protect Internet freedom. She will also detail how U.S. policy can best support a strong human rights platform through the democratic transition. Stay tuned this week for announcements of her public events.