When hundreds of thousands of Egyptians occupied Cairo's Tahrir Square in 2011, they challenged a dictator who had ruled the country for three decades. As Egypt dominated headlines and turned the Arab Spring into the news event of the decade, a sleek, modern narrative emerged: the Egyptian Revolution was the spontaneous result of young, tech-savvy Egyptians organizing on Facebook and Twitter.
But websites do not make revolutions; men and women do. You Are Under Arrest For Masterminding The Egyptian Revolution tells the untold, decade-long story of the Egyptian Revolution as experienced by Ahmed Salah, a leading democracy activist whose desire to bring change to his country began as a child when he watched the government rig elections against his father, a prominent politician.
From his vantage point as a co-founder and leader of Egypt's most prominent protest movements, Salah offers a firsthand account of the growth of the Egyptian opposition, the successes and failures of using the Internet to rebel, and the planning of the Egyptian Revolution. You Are Under Arrest For Masterminding The Egyptian Revolution reveals the gritty reality of how street activists started a revolution, why that revolution failed to change Egypt, and one man's struggle to honor his father's last wish: "Promise me you won't waste your life in politics."
Praise for You Are Under Arrest for Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution:
From the bottom up and the inside out, Ahmed Salah gives us a gripping account of nearly a decade of courageous and inventive struggle for freedom in Egypt. At once tragic and inspiring, shrewdly insightful and intimately personal, this deeply moving book should be read widely and closely by everyone seeking to understand the successes and failures of political protest in Egypt since 2003—or the broader reasons why activist movements surge and subside.
- Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University
"A stirring and informative new memoir, You Are Under Arrest for Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution is a sharply detailed insider's look at the day-to-day strategic planning and mobilization efforts over a tumultuous decade that laid the groundwork for what would morph into a triumphant—albeit unfinished—mass movement."
- Jessica Zack, The San Francisco Chronicle
"Ahmed Salah is an impressive example of what the next generation of leadership in Egypt and the Arab world could be."
- Jackson Diehl, The Washington Post
You Are Under Arrest for Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution is a fascinating read. As it jumps between Ahmed's story, the history of Egypt, and his account of the last days of Mubarak and the turmoil that followed, it combines analysis and anecdote, the two ingredients of a compelling read.
- Ivan Marovic, Serbian activist and co-founder of OTPOR!
An important inside account and analysis by one of the principal strategists of the Egyptian revolution, frank in regard to the movement's failures, but ultimately hopeful in the eventual triumph in the struggle for democracy.
- Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics & Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco