Thursday, 27 January 2011

Egypt’s activists see chance to drive reform

By Michael Peel in Cairo
Published: January 27 2011 22:42 | Last updated: January 27 2011 22:42
Amal Sharaf, co-founder of Egypt’s April 6 opposition group, seems as surprised as anyone to find herself at the centre of mass protests against President Hosni Mubarak that have plunged the country into political and economic turmoil.
Ms Sharaf says regime foes – like the political campaign for Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate due to return to the country late on Thursday – must now capitalise on the “unexpected change” and hold large demonstrations on Friday and beyond.
She says: “We have a big chance. But if we don’t use it now, we will never be able to do it.”
Her remarks set the stage for a day that could determine whether extraordinary protests, propelled in good part by a technologically savvy and worldly group of activists, grow into a real threat to the government of the most populous Arab country.
Ms Sharaf – who speaks fluent English and wears frayed jeans – is part of an educated class of younger Egyptians now speaking out against the political direction of the nation and the economic hardship suffered by many people. Read More

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