Den egyptiske forfatter Ahdaf Soueif i The Guardian:
Alaa is a techie, a programmer of note. He and Manal, his wife and colleague, work in developing open-source software platforms and in linguistic exchange. They terminated contracts abroad and flew home to join the revolution. In Tahrir he moved between groups; listening, facilitating, making peace when necessary, defending the square physically when he had to.
He started the TweetNadwa series – the corporeal meetings of the Twitter community. In one of those, in Tahrir, I understood the remarkable role he played. We sat on the ground, a screen displaying rolling tweets, discussing the restructuring of Mubarak’s brutal security apparatus. Comments and questions could only use two minutes. If you liked what you heard you fluttered your raised hand. Passersby stopped and, intrigued, they stayed and contributed. The numbers grew to over a thousand from every background: enabled, together, working out ways forward, and Alaa in the middle, facilitating, directing, articulating, engaged, and passionate. (…)
He was to enter a major confrontation with the military when, on 9 October, a peaceful (mainly Coptic) protest was attacked by the army and, worried, Alaa went looking for his friend, the activist Mina Daniel. He found him in the Coptic hospital, among the dead.
Alaa and his friends then did something remarkable; from the morgue they took on the entire system. In the face of the hospital issuing death certificates from “natural causes” they persuaded the stricken families to demand autopsies. Activist lawyers pressured the public prosecutor to order them. They fetched the coroner and his staff and persuaded them to carry out the autopsies in the presence of physicians whom they trusted. And then they sat them individually with the families to explain the reports to them.
The hospital morgue only had three drawers, so all the while they treated the bodies of their comrades with ice and fans, and they treated the anger, grief and suspicion of the families with tears and embraces and explanations. Thus they foiled the attempt to cause sectarian violence, and to get rid of the evidence of the bodies, and they mobilised the families to demand an investigation.
Og nu er han i fængsel, fængslet af en af de illegitime militærdomstole for at have “opfordret til vold mod militæret”. Soueif skriver: No one believes that the military believe the charges they’ve levelled against Alaa; in attacking this central, charismatic figure they appear to be openly mounting an attack on the very spirit of the revolution.
Det er i alle tilfælde i disse måneder, at det afgøres, om oprøret i Egypten skal ende med at gøre en permanent forskel – eller om militæret med trofast støtte fra Vesten vil fortsætte deres egen udgave af Mubaraks terror.