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giovedì 24 febbraio 2011

"Las redes sociales han sido la base de las revueltas árabes"

ENTREVISTA: El futuro del periodismo JAVIER MORENO Director de EL PAÍS


"Las redes sociales han sido la base de las revueltas árabes"

Los ciudadanos de Túnez no necesitaban Wikileaks para conocer el grado de corrupción de los gobernantes y su entorno, pero el impacto de las informaciones sí espoleó el malestar previo en ese país, que fue el detonante de las siguientes revueltas en el mundo árabe". El director de EL PAÍS, Javier Moreno, cree que los cables publicados han sido un factor coadyuvante de las revoluciones en esos países. El papel determinante se lo atribuye "a las redes sociales en su conjunto, a la nueva sociedad de la información, a la velocidad con la que circulan las noticias: esa ha sido la base sobre la que se ha construido este movimiento".

Opina que en el resto del mundo la publicación de estas informaciones secretas propiciará una lucha entre la transparencia exigida a los Gobiernos y su "legítimo derecho" a mantener secretos. "Los Gobiernos intentarán proteger mejor sus secretos y las organizaciones y los periódicos acceder a ellos más que en el pasado".
Desde un punto de vista periodístico, Javier Moreno considera que este proceso informativo, coordinado con otras cuatro cabeceras de referencia internacional, ha supuesto una "inyección de adrenalina y de orgullo profesional para EL PAÍS". "Hemos aplicado nuestro mejor oficio para producir gran periodismo. Y para los lectores ha sido un flujo de información interesante, en profundidad, bien contextualizada. Han conocido grandes historias nacionales e internacionales cuyos perfiles no atisbábamos del todo, y algunas absolutamente novedosas de impacto para la política española". No cree, sin embargo, que esta aventura profesional, de gran repercusión en la web, traiga luz nueva para definir un modelo de negocio. "Entre los periódicos participantes cada uno aplica un modelo y tiene estrategias distintas, hay webs abiertas, otras de pago... Haríamos mal en intentar extraer una lección común sobre el modelo de negocio para sostener el periodismo que queremos hacer. Pero cuando se difundieron los cables hubo un aumento del tráfico en la web, tanto en España como en América Latina, y la audiencia es importante", sostiene.
"Ser capaces de convertirse en un jugador global es vital para establecer un modelo de negocio. Los ciudadanos responden acudiendo a las páginas y consumiendo información".
EL PAÍS Jueves, 24/2/2011

mercoledì 23 febbraio 2011

An Italian company: ANGELO MARANI

http://www.angelomarani.it/en/company





An Italian company: ANGELO MARANI



Angelo Marani, both manufacturer and designer, was born in Correggio, in the province of Reggio Emilia.
His interest for arts, history , cinema and music make him stand out already when he is still a student.
He studies in Vienna at the University for foreign people where he feels the influence of the Mittel European culture.
Then he comes back to Italy and starts his first experience in the business world.
He learns the printing techniques and studies fabrics and yarns.
He moves to Antwerp , a city of arts and design.
After his return to Italy, in 1974 he establishes his company, Marex Spa , owner of the brand “ Angelo Marani “.
He is currently living, working and creating in Correggio.

martedì 22 febbraio 2011

CINEMA ODEON FLORENCE Program English Original Sound / March - April 2011

CINEMA ODEON FLORENCE Program English Original Sound / March - April 2011



MARCH

Tuesday 1st march
The King's speech by Tom Hooper (GB, Aus 2010, 111') 
4.10 - 6.20 - 10.45 pm
with italian subtitles

Wednesday 2nd march
The King's speech by Tom Hooper (GB, Aus 2010, 111') 
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm
with italian subtitles

Thursday 3rd march
Love and other drugs by Edward Zwick (Usa 2010, 113')
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Tuesday 8th March
Made in Dagenham by Nigel Cole (GB 2010, 113')
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm
with italian subtitles

Wednesday 9th March 
The kids are allright by Lisa Cholodenko (Usa 2010, 104')
4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm
with italian subtitles

Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th
Black Swan di Darren Aronofsky (Usa 2010, 110')
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm
with italian subtitles

Monday 21st
Another Year by Mike Leigh (GB 2010, 129')
3.30 - 5.50 - 8.15 - 10.30 pm
with italian subtitles

Tuesday 22nd
Unknown by Jaume Collet-Serra (Usa 2011, 115')
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Cinema ASTRA2
Monday 28th 
Morning Glory by Roger Michell (Usa 2010, 102')
4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Cinema ASTRA2
Tuesday 29th
Rango by Gore Verbinski (Usa 2011   )
4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm


APRIL

Cinema ASTRA2
Monday 4th April
The Fighter by David O'Russel (Usa 2010, 115')
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm
with italian subtitles

Monday 11th ASTRA2
Winter Bone by Debra Granik (Usa 2010, 100')
4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Tuesday 12th
Just go with it by Dennis Dugan (Usa 2011, 116')
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Thursday 14th
Surprise Film

Monday 18th
Never let me go by Mark Romanek (Usa/Gb 2010, 103')
4.10 - 6.20 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm


Tuesday 26th
No strings attached by Ivan Reitman (Usa 201, 108')
4.10 - 6.20 - 10.30 pm
Wednesday 27th
No strings attached by Ivan Reitman (Usa 201, 108')
4.10 - 6.20? - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Cinema ASTRA2
Thursday 28th
The next three days by Paul Haggis (Usa 2010, 122')
3.50 - 6.05 - 8.20 - 10.30 pm

Odeon Cinema. Built in 1462, Palazzo Strozzino, the building in which the cinema is located, is considered one of the most interesting example of Renaissance architecture. Palazzo Strozzino was renovated at the beginning of the 20th century by the architect Piacentini who transformed the back and the courtyard into an elegant art nouveau cinema-theatre which was opened in 1922. To this day the Odeon retains the original sculptures, tapestries, and the wonderful period stained glass cupola. Over the years some of the most glamorous names in show business have appeared in this jewel in the heart of Florence, musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, actresses such as Isabelle Adjani and Anjelica Huston, and directors such as Bertolucci, Branagh, Salvatores, Benigni, Verdone and many Italian stars. Last autumn it has hosted the 50days of International Cinema in Florence.

lunedì 21 febbraio 2011

ISTITUTO EUROPEO New Route


ISTITUTO EUROPEO New Route

 ISTITUTO EUROPEO was born in 1988.  It started out as a classical school for Italian, Art, and Music. At the time, the European market was active which gave ISTITUTO EUROPEO the opportunity to establish themselves as a school for foreign students in Florence.
In 2005, the traditional market began to change.  In 2008, ISTITUTO EUROPEO experienced a decline in business which sparked the incentive to rethink their product as well as their marketing strategies. By the end of 2008, ISTITUTO EUROPEO introduced an internship program. Although this improved business, it also proposed a challenge; ISTITUTO EUROPEO had to now network with numerous Tuscan businesses in order to receive approval for foreign interns to work within those companies. Unexpectedly, the program attracted a new group of students with diverse interests and goals.  
Globally successful businesses are usually run by large corporations, but in Tuscany many businesses are still family owned and operated, yet still are globally successful. The different business styles and methods practiced by Italian companies sparked interests among foreign interns, students, and universities. ISTITUTO EUROPEO had expanded their product, and now students had the opportunity to learn their desired field of study in a new culture and society.  Overall in 2008, ISTITUTO EUROPEO was able to adapt traditional methods to the new international market in order to attract more students all around the world.  
In order  to keep global curiosity and interest, new ideas and strategies continued.  ISTITUTO EUROPEO realized they needed to become more flexible in adapting its traditional structure to the new international market.  ISTITUTO EUROPEO positioned themselves as a “glocal” business. By marketing as a traditional (made in Italy)  product, yet still establishing enough strength and credibility in order to stand out amongst global competitors, ISTITUTO EUROPEO was able to maintain its original identity on a global level. 
Currently consumers are looking for programs, that offer original content, affordable prices, and most recently, a life experience in a short period of time. With these demands in mind, ISTITUTO EUROPEO started a sequence of new short programs (Economics, Marketing, Sports Medicine, and Physiotherapy). Consumers wanted to experience a new culture, but still stay on their original educational path; therefore the intern experience would give students the opportunity to distinguish themselves from competitors.
ISTITUTO EUROPEO was one of the first schools in Florence to adapt to the demands of today’s global economy.  Tradition, reliability, flexibility, rapidity and affordable costs all describe the integrity behind ISTITUTO EUROPEO’s brand.

An Italian company: BONAVERI MANNEQUINS

It is not to sell but to declare the identity and the essence

Making a Fashion Statement, With or Without Clothes




RENAZZO DI CENTO, Italy — To the untrained eye, the clusters of synthetic body parts scattered on the floor of a vast warehouse in Italy’s heartland looked very much like — well, like clusters of synthetic body parts.
But to an expert like Andrea Bonaveri, whose family company has been making mannequins for 60 years, each slick torso, each sculpturesque limb, has its own story.
“These are waiting to be delivered to Burberry,” he said, pointing to one bunch of white bodies. “Those legs are for Emilio Pucci. The somewhat prune-colored ones are for Louis Vuitton, and those gray ones are for Hugo Boss.”
There were more: bronze bodies for Roberto Cavalli. Mannequins in transparent fiberglass for Giorgio Armani. Projects for Max Mara, Zara and Loewe, the luxury leather brand.
In the world of mannequin makers, Bonaveri is among a handful of companies whose brands are as recognizable as the fashion designers whose styles their models show off.
Bonaveri is “among the names that have their own value,” said Luca Ceresa, the owner of Il Centro Pier, a Milanese showroom that represents Adel Rootstein, another high-end mannequin maker. “To use a paragon that may be better understood, they are the Ferraris of the mannequin world.”
Like Ferraris, Bonaveri mannequins are all about exclusivity and flash. They also have to communicate a subtle message that will lure customers into a shop.
The first objective of any shop window display “is not to sell but to declare the identity and the essence of the store or brand in terms of its positioning on the market and what it has to offer. To say, ‘Here I am,’ ” said Karin Zaghi, who teaches a course in visual merchandising and atmosphere at Bocconi University’s school of management in Milan.
“If a mannequin merely shows off clothes, it is functional,” Ms. Zaghi said. “If it attracts the attention of a passerby, if it has the ability to communicate, then it is optimal.”
And like Ferraris — built at a factory 30 miles away — Bonaveri mannequins do not come cheap. A complete Bonaveri mannequin costs 1,300 to 1,600 euros, or about $1,800 to $2,200, at retail, and can cost more. Chinese imports now emerging on the European market can sell for less than 100 euros. But Bonaveri has managed to find its market.
Although the company is privately held and does not release its financial results to the public, executives said growth had been solid. Last year, the company, which has 57 employees, had sales of 13 million euros, compared with 9 million euros in 2005. Profit margins last year were 15 percent, Mr. Bonaveri said.
The mannequin industry is fragmented. Retailing associations do not keep track of statistics for mannequins sold each year — a news release issued by EuroShop, an industry trade show, estimated that in Germany alone, 50,000 mannequins were bought each year for overall sales of 20 million euros. Italy has around a dozen manufacturers, most of them selling models for 600 euros to 800 euros.
What makes Bonaveri mannequins so costly is the degree of specialization. The company makes a gamut of models, using various materials, including polystyrene, leather and wood. The factory turns out 1,500 to 2,000 mannequins a month.
“We are constantly researching, even though the human figure is what it is,” Mr. Bonaveri said, keeping an eye on fashion and design trends, architectural fads and store designs.
Recently, the company has returned to fabric-covered models, which are painstakingly hand-sewn and assembled outside Cento, Italy.
“Each model has a history, a concept, a way of interpreting the clothing it exhibits,” Mr. Bonaveri said. “It seems easy, but it isn’t.”
Ten years ago, Bonaveri bought out another renowned mannequin maker, Schlappi, a Swiss company that produced more futuristic-looking mannequins. In recent years, Schlappi’s glassy, featureless forms have become ubiquitous in shop windows, and those models — which come in a rainbow of colors — outsell Bonaveri’s, but they are hardly in competition with each other, Mr. Bonaveri said.
“Schlappi models call out for attention,” he said. “Bonaveri models whisper.”
When Romano Bonaveri, Andrea’s father, started the company 60 years ago in Cento, a small town about 20 miles north of Bologna that is famous for its carnival, the Bonaveri brand was much more an artisanal affair. After honing his papier-mâché skills by making floats for the carnival parade, the elder Mr. Bonaveri saw a future in crafting dressmakers’ dummies, initially delivering his handmade wares to local stores using a bicycle-drawn cart.
The first machines came when he began to use plastic in the 1960s, and significant expansion went hand in hand with the boom in ready-to-wear fashion and the emergence on the high-end market of designers like Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace and Gianfranco Ferré.
Demand became such that the company could barely keep up with orders, said Andrea Bonaveri, who now runs the company with his brother Guido, who is responsible for designing new models using laser scanners to replicate human figures. The new technique is used alongside the more traditional sculpture approach.
“We wanted to keep fresh using various techniques,” Guido Bonaveri said.
To increase production, the company built a larger factory five years ago outside Cento. Profit jumped 32 percent the first year it was operational.
The production line at the factory, in Renazzo di Cento, is vaguely disturbing, with a continuous flow of limbs floating through the air. In one corner is a sculptural archive of mannequins made for dozens of designers through the years.
Fashion houses are not the only clients. Department stores are big buyers — including Saks, Bloomingdales and Macy’s, which is the biggest customer in the United States — as are museums, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Harold Koda, the head of the museum’s Costume Institute, said in an e-mail that the institute did not use one mannequin type or manufacturer exclusively. But Bonaveri mannequins have been used in several recent contemporary exhibitions at the museum because “they convey an image of a powerful female type,” he said.
“In the case of the specific mannequin style selected by the curators from the Bonaveri catalogue, it was felt that it was at once abstract enough to carry the imagery of a variety of signature designer styles, but specific enough to present a compelling physicality to the clothing,” Mr. Koda said.
Expansion has not changed the essence of the company. It is still very much a family-run enterprise, with daily board meetings convened over breakfast at the Bonaveris’ parents’ apartment, which was built above the new factory. “That’s when we thrash things out,” Andrea Bonaveri said.
Bonaveri and other European manufacturers of mannequins have opened factories in China to make cheaper lines, and China-based manufacturers are also on the rise. About a quarter of the 44 mannequin manufacturers that will have stands at EuroShop 2011, the international trade show for the retail industry that will open in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the end of the month, are Chinese.
Bonaveri recently set up its Chinese manufacturing branch with a partner there, catering to Asian markets that cannot afford Italian products. The idea, he said, was to develop a strong base in the Far East. “At least that’s the plan,” he said. Bonaveri’s biggest markets are the United States, France and Germany, with Italy trailing.
Like anything that touches on the world of fashion, the shelf life of the mannequins varies. Most mannequins tend to remain in style five to 10 years. Mr. Ceresa, of Il Centro Pier, said that headless mannequins were becoming especially popular “because of their timelessness.”
“They don’t age, and they are ageless,” he said. “You can dress them like a young girl or a more mature woman.”
Marketing experts suggest that, as a sales aid, mannequins are unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.
“Brands may spend money on advertising and public relations, but sales points are becoming an increasingly important marketing tool,” said Ms. Zaghi of Bocconi University. “That’s where brands take on life, and the context where everything must communicate that brand. It is the place where the final decision, to purchase or not, is made.”
www.nytimes.com.gif     

February 18, 2011


venerdì 18 febbraio 2011

E' il boom dell'industria: il fatturato sale del 10,1% Istat: ai massimi dal 2001

E' il boom dell'industria: il fatturato sale del 10,1% Istat: ai massimi dal 2001



Roma - E' un'industria in forte crescita. La ripresa si tocca con mano. Nella media dell’intero 2010 il fatturato è aumentato del 10,1 per cento (dato grezzo) rispetto all’anno precedente. L’Istat sottolinea che la risalita arriva dopo il crollo del 2009 (-18,7 per cento) e aggiunge che si tratta della variazione tendenziale maggiore dal 2001. A fare da traino è il mercato estero (+16 per cento). Molto bene anche gli ordinativi dell’industria italiana nella media dell’intero 2010 sono cresciuti del 13,9 per cento (dato grezzo) rispetto all’anno precedente. Il balzo segue la caduta registrata nel 2009 (-22,4 per cento) e aggiungendo che si tratta del maggior rialzo annuo dal 2001. A spingere gli ordini è il mercato estero (+21,2 per cento).

Il fatturato dell'industria L'Istat fa notare che è stato recuperato un po' più della metà di quanto perso nel 2009 (-18,9 per cento, dato rivisto). Guardando alla variazione corretta per gli effetti di calendario, l’Istituto registra un rialzo medio annuo del 9,9 per cento, con la fabbricazione di coke e prodotti petroliferi raffinati che segna un’impennata del 24,4 per cento. Aumenti marcati hanno anche interessato la metallurgia e la fabbricazione di prodotti in metallo esclusi macchine e impianti (+20,8 per cento) e la fabbricazione di prodotti chimici (+19,2 per cento).
Gli ordini dell'industria E' stata così recuperata più della metà del terreno perso nel 2009 (-22,7 per cento dato rivisto). Guardando ai diversi settori d’attività economica, forti rialzi annui sono stati registrati per la metallurgia e fabbricazioni di prodotti in metallo esclusi macchine e impianti (+24,1 per cento), la fabbricazione di macchinari e attrezzature n.c.a (+20,1 per cento) e la fabbricazione di prodotti chimici (+18 per cento).
Auto ancora in affanno Il settore automobilistico è in forte sofferenza. A dicembre 2010, su base annua, il fatturato degli autoveicoli è sceso del 3,9 per cento, mentre gli ordinativi sono calati dell’11,2 per cento.

("Il Giornale.itvenerdì 18 febbraio 2011 )

mercoledì 16 febbraio 2011

An Italian company: TECHNOBOHEMIAN (John Malkovich Italian company)

http://www.technobohemian.it/

techno.png

In the creation of my collections I am inspired by the appearance of a bohemian of the new millen-nium. I thought it was necessary to update the figure of the bohemian but not in the traditional way, it was necessary to make it a cosmopolitan present and fully engaged in the technological world we live in today.
  Technobohemian is a phrase I read in a yet unpublished Italian novel. I lift it with the author’s per-mission and I will endevour to use it well.
   I personally design everything starting from sketches to the choice of fabrics which, with my Italian team, we pay particular attention, to their quality and expression.
     The production of garments is entirely made in Italy, except for the denim which comes from Japan.
     I have always cultivated interest in fashion and I always loved it, I like the design, I like the details and for me it is simply another form of self-expression. Style is important. I try to convey through my crea-tions. I try to do things in a personal way, in relation to this. Sometimes I draw inspiration from the cinema, sometimes I look at people on the street. There is a strong correlation between the job of the designer and the actor who takes on different roles each time transforming itself. I like to experience the transformation even in the clothes we design, every transformation is basically a confirmation that we are constantly being born.

John Malkovich

martedì 15 febbraio 2011

Tuscany wants to jumpstart a recovery!

Tuscany wants to jumpstart a recovery!




According  to Riccardo Cerza, segretario generale della Cisl, Tuscany has made the minimal growth of less than 1% of the GDP due to the out-of-date economic model is not enough to jumpstart a recovery. Growth is unacceptably slow as the ancient Tuscan model spitefully drags it’s feet as the Tuscan people and businesses try to pull the economy back up and to a sufficient level. Quickly adapting to a changing world is difficult but mandatory. It is comforting that Cerza recognizes the importance of time and immediate action. As the world enters the digital age, internet is needed for any province that wants to stay competitive as it is now an important component of a modern infrastructure.
For example, a lack of marketing and involvement in global markets demanding quality goods from Tuscany has worked against the recovery efforts. By using the internet, small businesses can inexpensively market their goods or services. As the Tuscan region becomes more attractive to big business, it must be kept in mind that oversaturation of large corporations can smother tourism as Tuscany’s image modernizes. Considering the large contribution of tourism to the regions economy, the attractive Italian culture must be preserved to contribute to the growth.


By Michael Socoloski 

A TOUR OF SPORT MEDICINE AND PHYSIOTHERAPY IN ITALY (a one week program)


A TOUR OF SPORT MEDICINE AND PHYSIOTHERAPY IN ITALY (a one week program) 
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED PLEASE CONTACT US
INFO@ISTITUTOEUROPEO.IT  





Sunday Arrival at Florence Airport transfer to and checking into the Hotel

Monday 9:30am - Excursion around the City with guide and free time
2:00pm Orientation (Istituto Europeo via del Parione 1
   3:30pm Visit to a physiotherapy center
   7:00pm - Welcome Dinner restaurant in Florence

Tuesday 09:30am – 11:00am Lecture: physiotherapy and sport in Italy
3:30pm: Visit to a physiotherapy center 

Wednesday 09:30am – 11:00am Lecture: Nutrition and sport in Italy
2:00pm: Visit to a professional soccer team

Thursday 09:30am – 11:00am Lecture: Medicine and sport in Italy
2:00pm: Visit to Coverciano FIGC medicine sport department (http://www.settoretecnico.figc.it)

Friday 09:30am – 11:00am Lecture: Biomechanics and sport in Italy
2:00pm: Visit to Coverciano FIGC training methods and biomechanics applied to football laboratory (http://www.settoretecnico.figc.it)
7:00pm - Farewell Dinner restaurant in Florence

Saturday 8:30am field trip to CHIANTI wine tasting and lunch
Sunday Departure from the Hotel/Residence
transfer to airport/train station

The Egyptian protest that Shook Arab History was planned by a marketing manager from FACEBOOK









The Egyptian protest that shook Arab history was planned by a marketing manager from FACEBOOK





CAIRO — As protesters in Tahrir Square faced off against pro-government forces, they drew a lesson from their counterparts in Tunisia: “Advice to the youth of Egypt: Put vinegar or onion under your scarf for tear gas.”
The exchange on Facebook was part of a remarkable two-year collaboration that has given birth to a new force in the Arab world — a pan-Arab youth movement dedicated to spreading democracy in a region without it. Young Egyptian and Tunisian activists brainstormed on the use of technology to evade surveillance, commiserated about torture and traded practical tips on how to stand up to rubber bullets and organize barricades.
They fused their secular expertise in social networks with a discipline culled from religious movements and combined the energy of soccer fans with the sophistication of surgeons. Breaking free from older veterans of the Arab political opposition, they relied on tactics of nonviolent resistance channeled from an American scholar through a Serbian youth brigade — but also on marketing tactics borrowed from Silicon Valley.
As their swelling protests shook the Egyptian state, they were locked in a virtual tug of war with a leader with a very different vision — Gamal Mubarak, the son of President Hosni Mubarak, a wealthy investment banker and ruling-party power broker. Considered the heir apparent to his father until the youth revolt eliminated any thought of dynastic succession, the younger Mubarak pushed his father to hold on to power even after his top generals and the prime minister were urging an exit, according to American officials who tracked Hosni Mubarak’s final days.
The defiant tone of the president’s speech on Thursday, the officials said, was largely his son’s work.
“He was probably more strident than his father was,” said one American official, who characterized Gamal’s role as “sugarcoating what was for Mubarak a disastrous situation.” But the speech backfired, prompting Egypt’s military to force the president out and assert control of what they promise will be a transition to civilian government.
Now the young leaders are looking beyond Egypt. “Tunis is the force that pushed Egypt, but what Egypt did will be the force that will push the world,” said Walid Rachid, one of the members of the April 6 Youth Movement, which helped organize the Jan. 25 protests that set off the uprising. He spoke at a meeting on Sunday night where the members discussed sharing their experiences with similar youth movements in Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Iran.
“If a small group of people in every Arab country went out and persevered as we did, then that would be the end of all the regimes,” he said, joking that the next Arab summit might be “a coming-out party” for all the ascendant youth leaders.
Bloggers Lead the Way
The Egyptian revolt was years in the making. Ahmed Maher, a 30-year-old civil engineer and a leading organizer of the April 6 Youth Movement, first became engaged in a political movement known as Kefaya, or Enough, in about 2005. Mr. Maher and others organized their own brigade, Youth for Change. But they could not muster enough followers; arrests decimated their leadership ranks, and many of those left became mired in the timid, legally recognized opposition parties. “What destroyed the movement was the old parties,” said Mr. Maher, who has since been arrested four times.
By 2008, many of the young organizers had retreated to their computer keyboards and turned into bloggers, attempting to raise support for a wave of isolated labor strikes set off by government privatizations and runaway inflation.
After a strike that March in the city of Mahalla, Egypt, Mr. Maher and his friends called for a nationwide general strike for April 6. To promote it, they set up a Facebook group that became the nexus of their movement, which they were determined to keep independent from any of the established political groups. Bad weather turned the strike into a nonevent in most places, but in Mahalla a demonstration by the workers’ families led to a violent police crackdown — the first major labor confrontation in years.
Just a few months later, after a strike in Tunisia, a group of young online organizers followed the same model, setting up what became the Progressive Youth of Tunisia. The organizers in both countries began exchanging their experiences over Facebook. The Tunisians faced a more pervasive police state than the Egyptians, with less latitude for blogging or press freedom, but their trade unions were stronger and more independent. “We shared our experience with strikes and blogging,” Mr. Maher recalled.
For their part, Mr. Maher and his colleagues began reading about nonviolent struggles. They were especially drawn to a Serbian youth movement called Otpor, which had helped topple the dictator Slobodan Milosevic by drawing on the ideas of an American political thinker, Gene Sharp. The hallmark of Mr. Sharp’s work is well-tailored to Mr. Mubark’s Egypt: He argues that nonviolence is a singularly effective way to undermine police states that might cite violent resistance to justify repression in the name of stability.
The April 6 Youth Movement modeled its logo — a vaguely Soviet looking red and white clenched fist—after Otpor’s, and some of its members traveled to Serbia to meet with Otpor activists.
Another influence, several said, was a group of Egyptian expatriates in their 30s who set up an organization in Qatar called the Academy of Change, which promotes ideas drawn in part on Mr. Sharp’s work. One of the group’s organizers, Hisham Morsy, was arrested during the Cairo protests and remained in detention.
“The Academy of Change is sort of like Karl Marx, and we are like Lenin,” said Basem Fathy, another organizer who sometimes works with the April 6 Youth Movement and is also the project director at the Egyptian Democratic Academy, which receives grants from the United States and focuses on human rights and election-monitoring. During the protesters’ occupation of Tahrir Square, he said, he used his connections to raise about $5,100 from Egyptian businessmen to buy blankets and tents.
‘This Is Your Country’
Then, about a year ago, the growing Egyptian youth movement acquired a strategic ally, Wael Ghonim, a 31-year-old Google marketing executive. Like many others, he was introduced into the informal network of young organizers by the movement that came together around Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat who returned to Egypt a year ago to try to jump-start its moribund political opposition.
Mr. Ghonim had little experience in politics but an intense dislike for the abusive Egyptian police, the mainstay of the government’s power. He offered his business savvy to the cause. “I worked in marketing, and I knew that if you build a brand you can get people to trust the brand,” he said.
The result was a Facebook group Mr. Ghonim set up: We Are All Khalid Said, after a young Egyptian who was beaten to death by police. Mr. Ghonim — unknown to the public, but working closely with Mr. Maher of the April 6 Youth Movement and a contact from Mr. ElBaradei’s group — said that he used Mr. Said’s killing to educate Egyptians about democracy movements.
He filled the site with video clips and newspaper articles about police violence. He repeatedly hammered home a simple message: “This is your country; a government official is your employee who gets his salary from your tax money, and you have your rights.” He took special aim at the distortions of the official media, because when the people “distrust the media then you know you are not going to lose them,” he said.
He eventually attracted hundreds of thousands of users, building their allegiance through exercises in online democratic participation. When organizers planned a “day of silence” in the Cairo streets, for example, he polled users on what color shirts they should all wear — black or white. (When the revolt exploded, the Mubarak government detained him for 12 days in blindfolded isolation in a belated attempt to stop his work.)
After the Tunisian revolution on Jan. 14, the April 6 Youth Movement saw an opportunity to turn its little-noticed annual protest on Police Day — the Jan. 25 holiday that celebrates a police revolt that was suppressed by the British — into a much bigger event. Mr. Ghonim used the Facebook site to mobilize support. If at least 50,000 people committed to turn out that day, the site suggested, the protest could be held. More than 100,000 signed up.
“I have never seen a revolution that was preannounced before,” Mr. Ghonim said.
By then, the April 6 movement had teamed up with Mr. ElBaradei’s supporters, some liberal and leftist parties, and the youth wing of the Muslim Brotherhood to plaster Cairo with eye-catching modernist posters advertising their Tunisia-inspired Police Day protest. But their elders — even members of the Brotherhood who had long been portrayed as extremists by Mr. Mubarak and the West — shied away from taking to the streets.
Explaining that Police Day was supposed to honor the fight against British colonialism, Essem Erian, a Brotherhood leader, said, “On that day we should all be celebrating together.
“All these people are on Facebook, but do we know who they are?” he asked. “We cannot tie our parties and entities to a virtual world.”
‘This Was It’
When the 25th came, the coalition of young activists, almost all of them affluent, wanted to tap into the widespread frustration with the country’s autocracy, and also with the grinding poverty of Egyptian life. They started their day trying to rally poor people with complaints about pocketbook issues: “They are eating pigeon and chicken, but we eat beans every day.”
By the end of the day, when tens of thousands had marched to Tahrir Square, their chants had become more sweeping. “The people want to bring down the regime,” they shouted, a slogan that the organizers said they had read in signs and on Facebook pages from Tunisia. Mr. Maher of the April 6 Youth Movement said the organizers even debated storming Parliament and the state television building — classic revolutionary moves.
“When I looked around me and I saw all these unfamiliar faces in the protests, and they were more brave than us — I knew that this was it for the regime,” Mr. Maher said.
It was then that they began to rely on advice from Tunisia, Serbia and the Academy of Change, which had sent staff members to Cairo a week before to train the protest organizers. After the police used tear gas to break up the protest that Tuesday, the organizers came back better prepared for their next march on Friday, the 28th, the “Day of Rage.”
This time, they brought lemons, onions and vinegar to sniff for relief from the tear gas, and soda or milk to pour into their eyes. Some had fashioned cardboard or plastic bottles into makeshift armor worn under their clothes to protect against riot police bullets. They brought spray paint to cover the windshields of police cars, and they were ready to stuff the exhaust pipes and jam the wheels to render them useless. By the early afternoon, a few thousand protesters faced off against well over a thousand heavily armed riot police officers on the four-lane Kasr al-Nile Bridge in perhaps the most pivotal battle of the revolution.
“We pulled out all the tricks of the game — the Pepsi, the onion, the vinegar,” said Mr. Maher, who wore cardboard and plastic bottles under his sweater, a bike helmet on his head and a barrel-top shield on his arm. “The strategy was the people who were injured would go to the back and other people would replace them,” he said. “We just kept rotating.” After more than five hours of battle, they had finally won — and burned down the empty headquarters of the ruling party on their way to occupy Tahrir Square.
Pressuring Mubarak
In Washington that day, President Obama turned up, unexpectedly, at a 3:30 p.m. Situation Room meeting of his “principals,” the key members of the national security team, where he displaced Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser, from his seat at the head of the table.
The White House had been debating the likelihood of a domino effect since youth-driven revolts had toppled President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, even though the American intelligence community and Israel’s intelligence services had estimated that the risk to President Mubarak was low — less than 20 percent, some officials said.
According to senior officials who participated in Mr. Obama’s policy debates, the president took a different view. He made the point early on, a senior official said, that “this was a trend” that could spread to other authoritarian governments in the region, including in Iran. By the end of the 18-day uprising, by a White House count, there were 38 meetings with the president about Egypt. Mr. Obama said that this was a chance to create an alternative to “the Al Qaeda narrative” of Western interference.
American officials had seen no evidence of overtly anti-American or anti-Western sentiment. “When we saw people bringing their children to Tahrir Square, wanting to see history being made, we knew this was something different,” one official said.
On Jan. 28, the debate quickly turned to how to pressure Mr. Mubarak in private and in public — and whether Mr. Obama should appear on television urging change. Mr. Obama decided to call Mr. Mubarak, and several aides listened in on the line. Mr. Obama did not suggest that the 82-year-old leader step aside or transfer power. At this point, “the argument was that he really needed to do the reforms, and do them fast,” a senior official said. Mr. Mubarak resisted, saying the protests were about outside interference.
According to the official, Mr. Obama told him, “You have a large portion of your people who are not satisfied, and they won’t be until you make concrete political, social and economic reforms.”
The next day, the decision was made to send former Ambassador Frank G. Wisner to Cairo as an envoy. Mr. Obama began placing calls to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and other regional leaders.
The most difficult calls, officials said, were with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Mr. Netanyahu, who feared regional instability and urged the United States to stick with Mr. Mubarak. According to American officials, senior members of the government in Saudi Arabia argued that the United States should back Mr. Mubarak even if he used force against the demonstrators. By Feb. 1, when Mr. Mubarak broadcast a speech pledging that he would not run again and that elections would be held in September, Mr. Obama concluded that the Egyptian president still had not gotten the message.
Within an hour, Mr. Obama called Mr. Mubarak again in the toughest, and last, of their conversations. “He said if this transition process drags out for months, the protests will, too,” one of Mr. Obama’s aides said.
Mr. Mubarak told Mr. Obama that the protests would be over in a few days.
Mr. Obama ended the call, the official said, with these words: “I respect my elders. And you have been in politics for a very long time, Mr. President. But there are moments in history when just because things were the same way in the past doesn’t mean they will be that way in the future.”
The next day, heedless of Mr. Obama’s admonitions, Mr. Mubarak launched another attack against the protesters, many of whom had by then spent five nights camped out in Tahrir Square. By about 2:30 p.m., thousands of burly men loyal to Mr. Mubarak and armed with rocks, clubs and, eventually, improvised explosives had come crashing into the square.
The protesters — trying to stay true to the lessons they had learned from Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gene Sharp — tried for a time to avoid retaliating. A row of men stood silent as rocks rained down on them. An older man told a younger one to put down his stick.
But by 3:30 p.m., the battle was joined. A rhythmic din of stones on metal rang out as the protesters beat street lamps and fences to rally their troops.
The Muslim Brotherhood, after sitting out the first day, had reversed itself, issuing an order for all able-bodied men to join the occupation of Tahrir Square. They now took the lead. As a secret, illegal organization, the Brotherhood was accustomed to operating in a disciplined hierarchy. The group’s members helped the protesters divide into teams to organize their defense, several organizers said. One team broke the pavement into rocks, while another ferried the rocks to makeshift barricades along their perimeter and the third defended the front.
“The youth of the Muslim Brotherhood played a really big role,” Mr. Maher said. “But actually so did the soccer fans” of Egypt’s two leading teams. “These are always used to having confrontations with police at the stadiums,” he said.
Soldiers of the Egyptian military, evidently under orders to stay neutral, stood watching from behind the iron gates of the Egyptian Museum as the war of stone missiles and improvised bombs continued for 14 hours until about four in the morning.
Then, unable to break the protesters’ discipline or determination, the Mubarak forces resorted to guns, shooting 45 and killing 2, according to witnesses and doctors interviewed early that morning. The soldiers — perhaps following orders to prevent excessive bloodshed, perhaps acting on their own — finally intervened. They fired their machine guns into the ground and into the air, several witnesses said, scattering the Mubarak forces and leaving the protesters in unmolested control of the square, and by extension, the streets.
Once the military demonstrated it was unwilling to fire on its own citizens, the balance of power shifted. American officials urged the army to preserve its bond with the Egyptian people by sending top officers into the square to reassure the protesters, a step that further isolated Mr. Mubarak. But the Obama administration faltered in delivering its own message: Two days after the worst of the violence, Mr. Wisner publicly suggested that Mr. Mubarak had to be at the center of any change, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned that any transition would take time. Other American officials suggested Mr. Mubarak might formally stay in office until his term ended next September. Then a four-day-long stalemate ensued, in which Mr. Mubarak refused to budge, and the protesters regained momentum.
On Thursday, Mr. Mubarak’s vice president, Omar Suleiman, was on the phone with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at 2 p.m. in Washington, the third time they had spoken in a week. The airwaves were filled with rumors that Mr. Mubarak was stepping down, and Mr. Suleiman told Mr. Biden that he was preparing to assume Mr. Mubarak’s powers. But as he spoke to Mr. Biden and other officials, Mr. Suleiman said that “certain powers” would remain with Mr. Mubarak, including the power to dissolve the Parliament and fire the cabinet. “The message from Suleiman was that he would be the de facto president,” one person involved in the call said.
But while Mr. Mubarak huddled with his son Gamal, the Obama administration was in the dark about how events would unfold, reduced to watching cable television to see what Mr. Mubarak would decide. What they heard on Thursday night was a drastically rewritten speech, delivered in the unbowed tone of the father of the country, with scarcely any mention of a presumably temporary “delegation” of his power.
It was that rambling, convoluted address that proved the final straw for the Egyptian military, now fairly certain that it would have Washington’s backing if it moved against Mr. Mubarak, American officials said. Mr. Mubarak’s generals ramped up the pressure that led him at last, without further comment, to relinquish his power.
“Eighty-five million people live in Egypt, and less than 1,000 people died in this revolution — most of them killed by the police,” said Mr. Ghonim, the Google executive. “It shows how civilized the Egyptian people are.” He added, “Now our nightmare is over. Now it is time to dream.”

(International Herald Tribune February 13, 2011)