Climate Action Families


12-year-old for Egypt\’s Next President

This is how democracy can flourish!

Posted by Donald Lee on July 18, 2013

Reposted from Global Social Change and Free Arabs website

His name is Ali Ahmed, age 12 and a half. He was interviewed in October 2012 by Egyptian newspaper El Wady, after huge demonstrations against then-president Mohammed Morsi were held in Cairo. Ali defended the anti-Morsi point of view in an extremely articulate and passionate manner, but the video didn’t attract much attention at first.

Free Arabs spotted Ali’s interview, edited it down to 2:30 and provided English subtitles in March 2013, soon after the site was launched. The Youtube video received not much more than a thousand visits in 3 months. Then Morsi was taken down by the army (or the people, the debate is still on) on July 3nd.


As Egypt was back in global headlines, Ali’s video suddenly and unexpectedly took off on July 5th, reaching 300 thousand hits in 24 hours. The Washington Post picked the story with a bold headline (“Meet the 12-years-old Egyptian boy who wonderfully explains his country’s crisis”), followed by the Huffington Post, with a no-less engaging title (“Ali Ahmed, First Grader In Egypt, Excoriates Muslim Brotherhood”).

By July 7th, Ali’s interview has reached a million views and was ranked among the top 5 most shared videos on Reddit.  5 days later, that score doubled. The Egyptian little boy even caused a stir in… China! On July 15, a version of the video with Chinese subtitles was “ranked as the third most popular microblog post overnight”, the South China Morning Post reports. A success overwhelming enough for the authorities to… block the video in China, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The simple, yet smart and impactful way in which the young boy advocates people’s power has certainly captured the mood of millions of Egyptians who took to the streets and ended up bringing the Morsi government down. But there’s probably more to Ali’s global sensation (2.4 million views so far!!) This young kid simply appeals to the human in us—who wouldn’t be extremely proud to have such a stunningly precocious kid as a son?

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