Egyptian activist and icon of the January 25 revolution Wael Ghoneim has posted a video of himself urging the Egyptian president to prove “he has a heart” by apologising to Mohamed Morsi’s widow for having lost her husband and now her son.
Ghoneim was a key figure in the 2011 Egyptian uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. In 2010 he set up the Facebook page “we are all Khaled Said”, for the 28-year-old who was tortured to death by police, and called for nationwide protests which eventually became the revolution.
In 2014 he resigned from Google to begin a start-up exploring disruptions in the social and news space.
Appearing with a shaved head without a top on, commenters on the video suggest he is having a breakdown and appears unstable. He calls on President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to prove that his mum “raised him well” that he “has a heart”, adding that he is sure Al-Sisi “has good in [his] heart.”
Others have defended him, saying that he is finding it hard to come to terms with everything that has happened in the country since January 25 2011 and that he symbolises the despair felt by thousands of Egyptians.
There are currently 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt and torture is widespread. The space for political opposition has shrunk dramatically since the July 2013 coup.
Wael says he has shaved his hair as a sign he is at peace with himself.
Commenting on the Egyptian contractor Mohamed Ali, whose series of videos exposing corruption in the government and the armed forces last week went viral, he accuses him of being driven by money.
Ali, whose business Amlak was hired to build palaces and other projects for the president and his wife, says he is owed 220 million Egyptian pounds ($13.4 million) in unpaid dues.
In a Facebook post that appears to explain his video, Ghoneim wrote: “I am well and I forgive myself for everything… Everyone is worried that people are judging them, today I am not afraid that people are judging me. What’s in my heart is good.”