Arab World: Nobel Peace Prize for Revolution Netizens?

Twitter is abuzz with excitement tonight as the names of Arab netizens are being circulated as possible candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for the roles they have played in the Arab revolutions.

Egyptians Wael Ghonim (@Ghonim) and Esraa Abdelfattah (@Esraa2008) along with the April 6th Youth Movement, are joined by Global Voices Online Tunisia author and Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni (@benmhennilina), who blogs at A Tunisian Girl, according to a Reuters report. The award will be announced on October 7.

"Free Revolution zone" image by Flickr user khalid Albaih (CC BY 2.0).

"Free Revolution zone" image by Flickr user khalid Albaih (CC BY 2.0).

Both Ghonim and Abdelfattah have contributed to the Egypt revolution through their cyber-activism. Ghonim shot to world fame after he was detained for 11 days during the Egyptian revolution. It later turned out that the Google executive was one of the administrators of a Facebook page in support of Khaled Said. We are all Khaled Said was set up to honour the memory of a young man from Alexandria, whose brutal murder at the hands of police officers sparked protests against police brutality. The January 25 revolution date itself was selected as it coincided with Police Day, a day young protesters chose to air their grieveances against police brutality and all of the regime's wrong doings.

Abdelfattah is one of the co-founders of the April 6 Facebook group, formed in 2008, to call for a day of general strike across Egypt in support of the workers in the textile district El Mahalla El Kubra. The Day of Anger, as it was known, acted as a trial run to the revolution, in terms of mobilising young people online and and using social networking to keep the world abreast with developments on the ground.

Like Ghonim, Abdelfattah too was arrested for her online activism.

While the Tunisian blogosphere has still not picked up on Ben Mhenni's speculation, Twitter is humming with Egyptians reacting to Ghonim's and Abdelfattah's news.

Omar Elhady congratulates the nominees:

مبروك لوائل و6 أبريل وإسراء، ترشيحكم لنوبل فخر شخصي لي، وتكريم لكل شباب مصر الأحرار ‎@Ghonim‏ ‎@GhostyMaher‏ ‎@Esraa2008‏
@Asdax: Congratulations to Wael, April 6 and Esraa. Your nomination for the Nobel peace prize is a personal source of pride for me and an honour for all of Egypt's young and free people

Dalia Mogahed explains:

: Nomination of @Ghonim and Israa for Nobel Peace prize is international community's way of giving props to #EgyptianRevolution as a whole.

Gigi Ibrahim asks:

@GSquare86: Whatever happened to nominating the Egyptian people of the revolution to the noble peace prize ?!!

And Ahmed Hassan Tantawy sums it up as follows:

@Tantawist: Many egyptian activists are jealous from Ghonim,Esraa & 6 April for being nominated for Nobel peace prize…what a shame #Fail #Egypt

Ghonim, in particular, came under fire for the nomination.

Arabista chimes:

@Arabista: @JustAmira #Ghonim doesn't deserve it. There are so many nameless heroes who were much more courageous. Hes just a better self publicist

And Tom Gara comes to Ghonim's defense saying:

@tomgara: @Arabista Really unfair to say that, the guy doesnt media whore in the slightest. Declines almost all foreign media requests. @JustAmira

Tarek Shalaby attempts an explanation.

: People underestimate the immense pressure on @Ghonim since his release and especially now with the nomination. He didn't choose any of this.

Mohammed Abdelfattah adds:

: All the support to @Ghonim and wishing to see him win the Nobel prize. A man of our generation is a pride for all of us.

Meanwhile, Libyan Ghazi Gheblawi has other concerns. He tweets:

@Gheblawi: Hope #Nobel peace prize stays away from Arab revolutions, credibility been tarnished many times, fear it trivialise genuine freedom struggle


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