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The 100 Global Thinkers

The 100 Global Thinkers

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Published by: shahidac on Dec 31, 2012
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The FP Top 100 GlobalThinkers
Foreign Policy
presents a unique portrait of 2011's global marketplace of ideas and the thinkers who make them.
DECEMBER 2011
 All revolutionaries want their stories told to the world, and no one hasconveyed the hopes and dreams of Egyptians more vividly than Alaa Al Aswany. The dentist turned author rose to fame with his 2002 novel,
TheYacoubian Building
,which charted Egypt's cultural upheaval and gradual
 Alaa Al Aswany 
1
MohamedElBaradei
1
 WaelGhonim
1
 Ali Ferzat
1
RazanZaitouneh
1
RachedGhannouchi
1
Khairat ElShater
1
TawakkolKarman
1
 WadahKhanfar
1
Eman AlNafjan
1
The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers | Foreign Policyhttp://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/11/28/the_fp_top_100_glo...1 of 9630-Nov-11 11:53 AM
 
dilapidation since throwing off its colonial shackles. Aswany used hisprominence to help found the Kefaya political movement, which firstarticulated the demands that would energize the youth in Tahrir Square: anend to corruption, a rejection of hereditary rule, and the establishment of atrue democratic culture. For his political activism, Aswany was blacklisted by Egypt's state-owned publishing houses, and security officials harassed theowner of the cafe where he met with young writers.How times change. Aswany was a fixture in Tahrir Square during Egypt'suprising -- he was almost killed three times, he said, during the running battles between demonstrators and pro-Mubarak thugs. And he has tried tokeep the revolution's spirit alive since, pressing the country's ruling military  junta to remove the vestiges of Hosni Mubarak's regime and assailing Egypt'sIslamists for their willingness to sacrifice the movement's principles for a tasteof power. In the process, Aswany has given voice to a people silenced for toolong. "Revolution is like a love story,"
he said
in February. "When you are inlove, you become a much better person. And when you are in revolution, you become a much better person."
The best muse for these times
The millions of Egyptians on Feb. 11 who were gathered whenMubarak decided to leave.
Stimulus or austerity?
Both are a very good idea.
America or China?
 America. I had an American education and lived in Chicago. The American experience is an important part of my life.
Reading list
"
 Vanka
," by Anton Chekhov;
The Brothers Karamazov
, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky;
The Old Man and the Sea
, by ErnestHemingway.
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers | Foreign Policyhttp://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/11/28/the_fp_top_100_glo...2 of 9630-Nov-11 11:53 AM
 
The bespectacled lawyer and the Google marketing guru may not look the partof revolutionaries. But Mohamed ElBaradei and Wael Ghonim have donemore than any other figures to put the political demands of Egypt's citizens ona global stage. After a celebrated career asInternational Atomic Energy Agency director-general that won him theNobel Peace Prize, ElBaradei returnedto Cairo last year to offer a politicalalternative to the stagnant rule of President Hosni Mubarak. And thoughhe was one of the few to believe changecould come -- and quickly -- to Egypt("I see a decaying temple, almostcollapsing," he was quoted as saying in
last year's Global Thinkers issue
), the rapid pace of change in Egypt sincehas exceeded his wildest expectations. Less than a year after his return,Mubarak was ousted -- and ElBaradei had established himself as one of themost prominent voices for pushing the revolution ever further.Ghonim became the global face of that revolution not long after it started, vaulted to fame after giving a tearful TV interview upon emerging fromMubarak's prisons (where he was thrown after helping spark the protests by creating a popular
anti-Mubarak Facebook page
). He has since teamed up with ElBaradei to criticize Egypt's ruling military junta for failing to lay out aclear road map for a transfer of power to civilian rule and for using military trials to silence protesters. As Egypt's Islamists continue to gain influence, thetwo leaders' work in pushing for a secular, democratic Egypt is more urgentthan ever. Ghonim is now planning to form an Egyptian NGO focused on local
The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers | Foreign Policyhttp://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/11/28/the_fp_top_100_glo...3 of 9630-Nov-11 11:53 AM

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