It’s surprising how different cultures can be in terms of their viewpoints on technology throughout the world. While parents in the US are fretting over the presence of their children on Facebook and other such social networks, a man in Egypt has been so affected by this popular website that he has christened his newborn daughter as “Facebook” to pay tribute to the site’s role in bringing about the January 25 Tahir Square revolution in Egypt.
As reported In Al-Ahram (Egypt’s equivalent to the New York Times), an Egyptian in his twenties has named his first born child Facebook in commemoration of the crucial role played by Facebook in the historic revolution. The “We are Khaled Said” page on the social media site created by the now globally recognized Googler Wael Ghonim after a few days of Khaled’s death was one of the epicenters of the public unrest in the country. It served as a forum for Egyptian dissidents against the brutalities committed by the nation’s police and also a source to spread the information related to the logistics of the growing anti-government protests until the final resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. It was also the inspiration for the countless similar forums which subsequently sprouted up for the same purpose, including one called “Tahir Square’.
Egypt is home to almost 5 million Facebook users, much more than any other country in the Middle East. A sharp growth in its Egyptian users has been announced by Facebook too after the past months events. While the girl could have been named anything from the likes of YouTube, Twitter and Google to a cellphone camera, the name “Facebook” symbolizes the utter prominence that people associate with the site being their most important tool in achieving a democracy. This sentiment is shared by most Egyptian revolutionaries along with Wael Ghonim, who publicly announced his gratitude to Mark Zuckerberg on CNN.