Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: Tweets from Tahrir


Today I shall review a book titled "Tweets from Tahrir" by Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns

Release Date: April 21st 2011
 Publisher: OR Books
Source: ARC  
The description of the book:
Egypt’s revolution as it unfolded, in the words of the people who made it.  
The Twitter accounts of the activists who brought heady days of revolution to Egypt in January and February this year paint an exhilarating picture of an uprising in real-time. Thousands of young people documented on cell phones every stage of their revolution, as it happened. This book brings together a selection of key tweets in a compelling, fast-paced narrative, allowing the story of the uprising to be told directly by the people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. 
Many of the activists were “citizen journalists”, using Twitter to report what was happening. Others used the social network to organize, communicating the next steps necessary for the revolution to move forward. Nearly everyone online gave instant reactions to the extraordinary events occurring before their eyes.  
History has never before been written in this fashion. The tweet limit of 140 characters evidently concentrated the feelings of those using Twitter. Raw emotion bursts from their messages, whether frantic alarm at attacks from pro-government thugs or delirious happiness at the fall of the dictator. To read these tweets is to embark a rollercoaster ride, from the surprise and excitement of the first demonstration, to the horror of the violence that claimed hundreds of lives, to the final ecstasy of victory. 

My review:

On January 25, the people of Egypt decided to protest to demand their rights. The planned protest turned into a revolution. It was suppose to take place only in Cairo but, surprisingly, the revolution swept the nation. Social media had its role in the Egyptian revolution. People of Egypt used it as a way to communicate and report what was going on in Egypt. Twitter was the most used tool to get the news across. Social activist, bloggers,etc would tweet what was happening in Egypt in 140 characters or less. "Tweets from Tahrir" focused on people tweeting from Tahrir square.

The book takes you onto an epic journey to one of the most amazing revolutions of all times. The book starts with Egyptians following the Tunisian's revolution and ended by tweets that reflected the success of the Egyptian revolution.

The book is composed of introductions at the beginning of each chapter to inform you what the chapter is going to be about. Then it follows with tweets from well-known tweeps. Reading what is happening in Egypt from different people added to the richness and the information that this book contained. It made me feel like I am back to the glorious days of the revolution. At the beginning of the book, there is a map of Tahrir Square and its surrounding areas to help identify the locations that are mentioned in the tweets.

If you follow me on twitter, you would know that I've been following this revolution via twitter. Therefore, I was super excited when I knew that the virtual data will be in a hard copy form to keep it forever. At the beginning, I found it a hard read. I started crying from the first chapter. Well, in total I cried 3 times reading this book. But as much as there were tears, there were smiles too.

Basically, when you are reading this book, you will feel as if you were in Tahrir Square. The tweeps, in the Tweets from Tahrir, did a great job in describing so much in only 140 characters.

And did I mention that there are pictures too in the book. It’s a way to help you create an image of what  it was like in Tahrir Square.

Overall, this was a magnificent book. It delivered real scenes from Tahrir Square. I hope you get to enjoy it as much as I did.

One final thought: shouldn’t there be a sequel for this book. Or maybe there could be a book called "Tweets from Libya" soon. Who knows?

Tata for now  

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