Breaking News, Politics

Facebook Helped Egyptian Protesters

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F_icon.svg When the protests started in Egypt, the government shut down the Internet. The government didn’t want the protesters to be able to talk to each other using e-mail or sites like Facebook or Twitter.

However, people soon found a way around that, by creating software that let them go online again. The Internet became the main tool that let the protesters plan their huge demonstrations.

One of the employees at Google in Egypt helped the protesters. Wael Ghonim was arrested just over a week ago because he used Facebook to tell as many people as possible to come to the main square in Cairo and march for freedom from President Mubarak’s rule. Ghonim was let out of jail last Monday. Some protesters are calling him a “hero” because he defied the government and went online to get the protesters to march.

Most people in Egypt still want Mubarak to leave the country now. But the President is doing everything he can to stay. On Monday he said that all the people who worked for the government would get a 15 per cent raise in pay. He hopes that by giving them money, more people will take his side.

The U.S. President, Barack Obama, has said that Egypt cannot go back to the way it was before the protests started. He also said that there is more than one group that could help form a new government. Obama is taking the side of the people over Mubarak.

Related Links:
Protests in Egypt
President Says He’ll Leave in September


Writing/Discussion Prompt
When the demonstrations started in Egypt, the government shut down the Internet for many reasons. Why do you think the government shut down the Internet? Should a government be allowed to shut down its country’s Internet? Should the Internet be a human right?

Reading Prompt
Prepare to read this article out loud to a parent or a classmate. When you practice reading the article, think about speaking at a speed that will make it easy for your audience to understand you. Hint: Taking a breath at the end of each sentence is a good start.

Read appropriate texts with expression and confidence, adjusting reading strategies and reading rate to match the form and purpose (OME, Reading: 3.3)

Grammar Feature: Strengthening Verbs
Today’s article includes an example of one action word (verb) helping another one (verb).  In the sentence that follows the verb “help” strengthens the verb “form”.  

He also said that there is more than one group that could help form a new government.”

When a writer does this, the first verb changes the meaning of the second verb.

Try to create a pair of strengthening verbs. Remember, the first verb in each pair should change the meaning of the second.

Example: Sarah’s mother wants her to stop losing her gloves.