Key Egyptian Revolutionary Advising “Occupy Wall Street”

October 19, 2011

Since the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York and its offshoots first broke out, protesters have invited comparisons to the Egyptian revolution and cited it as an inspiration. Now they’re going straight to the source.

Ahmed Maher, a key leader in Egypt’s revolution, is here in the U.S. and advising Occupy Wall Street protesters. Maher, who was profiled in FRONTLINE’s Revolution in Cairo, is a founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, which leveraged the internet and and nonviolent tactics to spark the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

According to DangerRoom, Maher has been corresponding with protesters for weeks, usually through Facebook, but on Tuesday the young activist made his way to McPherson Square in Washington, D.C., where Occupy Wall Street protesters have amassed.

“We talk on the internet about what happened in Egypt, about our structure, about our organization, how to organize a flash mob, how to organize a sit-in,” Maher told Danger Room, and “how to be nonviolent with police.” He has had his fair share of experience. Even before the Jan. 25 Egyptian protests began, Maher had been jailed and beaten by the Mubarak regime.

About the D.C. protests, he told DangerRoom, “It’s very good. I feel very happy here.” At the end of the week, he plans to go to New York, where he will meet the activists he inspired in Zuccotti Park.

Bonus: “Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution”: FRONTLINE went back to Tahrir Square in July and spoke with Maher about his frustrations with the movement since Mubarak’s fall.

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