Ashland University Alumnus in Middle of Egyptian Revolution

2/21/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ahmed Ebraheem, a 2008 graduate of Ashland University, has been in the midst of the Egyptian revolution and has sent emails to Ashland University faculty and staff members petitioning their help.

Ebraheem graduated from Ashland University with a degree in journalism and a minor in electronic media production. After going back to his home country of Egypt, he has worked as a journalist for a Cairo-based daily newspaper and has established a small private video production company that has produced several corporate videos and documentaries for Al Jazeera and BBC Arabia.

In an email to faculty members at Ashland University earlier this month, Ebraheem said that since Jan. 25, he had been reporting and filming, but mostly protesting and lobbying his friends to do the same.

"The line between me as a journalist and me as protestor blurred," he said in the email. "When my closest friends were being shot at, I couldn't just pick up my pen and notebook and take notes instead of helping others building barricades around our gathering points."

Ebraheem said that the internet access in Egypt was shut down during the first week of the revolution. "And my time was divided between reporting for my newspaper and taking part in the protest. I didn't sleep well for days, and I traveled to other cities to cover the protests," he noted in the email.

"I have seen death. Many were shot with live ammunition in their heads meters away from me by police snipers hiding over rooftops," he noted. "Many were burned by Molotov cocktails thrown by government-affiliated thugs in front of my eyes."

Ebraheem said his right hand was burned when he picked up a hot tear gas bomb that fell right next to his leg and threw it back at the police forces. He said his left leg was injured by an anti-riot irritant cartridge (a small cartridge that explodes in the air, firing hundreds of small iron pebbles that penetrate the skin).

"But I am luckier than many other journalists who are now suffering permanent disabilities. A fellow photographer lost an eye; another had his arm broken in three different locations. One journalist died during the revolution. He was photographing the clashes from a balcony and was shot dead in the head by a police sniper," he said in the email.

Ebraheem said he believes he witnessed the formation of one of the noblest nonviolent movements in history. "Every time the protesters managed to imprison one of the government thugs or police officers, tens would try to beat them to death. But hundreds would protect the thugs chanting loudly 'peaceful revolution...peaceful revolution,'" he said.

In the email, Ebraheem asked people in the United States to send emails to those in Congress asking them to create more measures concerning monitoring foreign aid and to pass laws preventing American companies from supplying corrupted police states with anti-riot weapons.

He also asked those in the U.S. to exert more pressure on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to leave his position, which has since happened.

"Encourage people to take some time to look at their congresspersons' views on foreign policy and democracy, instead of focusing solely on domestic issues," he said in the email.

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