Egypt’s Jamal Ibrahim has named his newborn daughter Facebook Jamal Ibrahim, a tribute to the central role the social network played in helping organize the demonstrations leading to Hosni Mubarak resigning from the presidency he’d held for 30 years.
The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. “Facebook” received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name.
Although the Egyptian revolution had some planning via Twitter, direct text messages, and other forms of electronic communication, in addition to Facebook, the latter has come to symbolize all the forms of social media that people used to organize the events that led to regime change in Egypt.
Illustrations of this abound: The photo during the protests in Tahrir Square of an Egyptian protester holding an “I Love Facebook” poster went viral, and when the revolution finally succeeded, countless status updates from Facebook users tangibly showed the world’s excitement. Even Google’s Middle East and North Africa Marketing Manager Wael Ghonim, credited with organizing the demonstrations in Cairo, thanked Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg for the social network’s role in helping Egypt achieve freedom.
The idea of someone naming their children after physical objects or other peculiar stuff is usually reserved to quirky Hollywood celebrities. And yet, all possible jokes aside, the parents’ intention is no doubt a noble one: To thank the medium they believe helped the most in spreading their message of mobilization and freedom.