'I participated in January revolution' tops Twitter trends in Egypt

Zeinab El-Gundy , Sunday 17 Jan 2016

The hashtag went viral on social media following the arrest of a leading member of Egypt's Doctors Syndicate, who was accused of calling for protests on the anniversary of the 25 Jan uprising

I participated in January revolution
"I participated in January Revolution" Facebook page Logo (Photo: Facebook)

Despite the hardships Egypt has seen in the five years since the 2011 uprising, thousands of Egyptian Twitter users expressed their pride over the past 24 hours for participating in the 25 January revolution with the Arabic hashtag #I_participated_in_January_Revolution.

The hashtag appeared on Twitter and then on Facebook Saturday after reports spread online that detained leftist activist and leading member of Egypt's Doctors Syndicate Taher Mokhtar was asked by prosecutors if he had taken part in "the violent events of 25 January 2011." 

According to Mokhtar's lawyers and members of the Doctors Syndicate, the young doctor answered that he indeed participated in the January Revolution and that it was not a crime.

Mokhtar is accused of calling for protests on the uprising's coming anniversary and possessing anti-regime publications. 

In an act of solidarity, several Egyptian political activists launched the #I_ participated _in_January_Revolution hashtag to stress the fact that taking part in the 2011 protests that led to the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak was not a crime.

Hours into the launch on Twitter, the hashtag reached over 10,000 tweets, with average citizens and popular public figures, including politicians, expressing pride in what they consider a day that changed the face of Egypt.

Egyptian political activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah wrote that her Twitter timeline was full of people using the hashtag and that the revolution was the noblest thing accomplished by her generation.



 "#I_participated_in_January_revolution All my timeline tweets on that hashtag, God bless you guys. That revolution did not and won't die. It will be regarded as the greatest and noblest thing our generation has ever done"  

Political activist Shady El-Ghazly Harb also expressed how proud he was of participating in the 25 January Revolution.


"The greatest thing I have done in my life is that I was among those for prepared for that great day (25 January 2011) of protest. It is my present for my children and my grandchildren. I am sure that they will never give it up. #I_participated_in_January_Revolution"

Famous businessman and tycoon Hassan Heikal also expressed his pride for joining the 25 January Revolution protests. 


"#I_participated_in_January_Revolution and I think that it is the most important thing I have done in my life" 

Renowned Egyptian novelist and writer Ahdaf Soueif stated that if the January protests were a crime then she was guilty of participating in those protests, quoting at the same time Dr Mona Mina, the undersecretary of the Doctors' Syndicate, who declared her solidarity with Dr Taher Mokhtar. 


"If participating in 25 January revolution is a crime then I confess personally that #I_participated_in_January_Revolution"   

Currently, the popular Hashtag moved from Twitter to Facebook where Facebook users in Egypt share their memories as well pride in participating in that revolution.

Former presidential candidate and founder of the Popular Current, Hamden Sabbahi, thanked God for participating in the 25 January Revolution.


"God, give me the ability to thank you on your blessings and the greatest blessing of all is that #I_participated in_January_Revolution"

A Facebook page called "I participated in January Revolution" was launched Sunday explaining the story of the hashtag. The page also published a statement of Egyptian public figures and intellectuals demanding the release of Taher Mokhtar and other "political detainees" in Egypt while vowing to continue to work towards achieving the 25 January Revolution's goals.

"We are not only demanding the release of thousands of political detainees currently in jail for no crime except dreaming for a better future of the Egyptian people, but we also announce our pride for participating in the 25 January Revolution," said the statement.

"The [charge] against Taher Mokhtar and his comrades is our charge and we will not deny it. We will continue our struggle till all the detainees are free and the state of justice and freedom is founded," said the statement, which criticised the government for what it describes as its attempts "to erase the 25 January Revolution."

Mokhtar is currently detained for 15 days pending investigations for the "possession of anti-regime publications."

Mokhtar was arrested Thursday by police at his apartment in Downtown Cairo, along with two of his flatmates.

The arrest of Mokhtar is considered by human rights activists an escalation in the crackdown against political activists in Egypt in the past two weeks as the January revolution anniversary looms.

The 2014 Egyptian constitution recognises in its preface the events of 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013 as legitimate revolutions.

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