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The Egyptian Revolution in Review: Twitter as Historical Documentation

February 22, 2012

There’s a very interesting new documentary from Al-Jazeera inspired by the book Tweets From Tahrir.

The video profiles five highly articulate young Egyptian “tweeps” who have been involved in the revolution since its inception–Hossam al-Hamalawy (@arabawy), Gigi Ibrahim (@Gsquare86), Mahmoud Salem (@sandmonkey), Mona Seif (@monasosh) and Tarek Shalaby (@tarekshalaby)–and mixes interviews, news footage and the tweets they were sending at the time to create a very interesting account of the uprising, especially its early days.

Twitter is treated here not as an engine of change–this is not a story of a Twitter revolution–but as documentary texts, supplementing and supporting other kinds of texts such as news stories and personal narratives.

Unlike the book, the documentary takes us well beyond the 18 days to discuss the Maspero massacre of the Copts and the elections, covering the entire first year of the revolution.

It ends with the hopes and plans of the revolutionaries for the future: the removal of the military council and the emergence of a genuinely representative government.

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