Egyptian Protests now enter their second week. Image Source: Dreams of a Typewriter.
Yesterday afternoon, the official Google Blog posted the following announcement that they have provided a workaround with Twitter for Egyptian protesters to gain access to the internet despite the country's internet blackout:
Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection. We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
These protests started as a reflection of the values and demands of a younger, plugged-in, tech-savvy generation that is mainly secular. You might call them Egypt's answer to Generations X and Y.
More news from the so-called Lotus Revolution that looters have broken into the Egyptian Museum and damaged the country's ancient artifacts:
Images brought to us by Al Jazeera and comments made by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, suggest that the robbers who broke into the museum shattered two gold-plated statues from Tutankhamun's treasure. Hawass said that the statues will be returned to the exhibition after extensive restoration work has been performed. Two mummies were also vandalized by the robbers. ...
In addition, wooden sculptures aged 4,000 years were also damaged. These sculptures were placed in the graves of aristocrats from the Middle Kingdom period in order to serve the dead posthumously. Scientifically, they are very valuable as these are three-dimensional models made by the Egyptians themselves which portray various daily-life scenes from the work of butchers, bakers, carpenters, soldiers and more.
Their uniqueness lies in the wooden material. Wood can only be preserved for long periods of time under very special conditions, such as those found in the Egyptian desert. The world has very little wooden artifacts from such ancient times.
In an interview with the German online magazine Zeit Online Dr. Wafaa El-Sadiq, the Egyptian Museum's former director, said that some of the looters were in fact the museum's guards, whose monthly salary is no more than 35 euros.
Still, if there are some good news it is that the masses themselves protected the museum from being subjected to further damage, even before the army stepped in. Most of the Egyptian people recognize the cultural and national importance of the museum's treasures. One can only hope that as the army guards the museum it shall be safe from further intrusions. ...
Unfortunately, the museum was not the only establishment to be vandalized and looted. El-Sadiq said that she received reports that the museum in Memphis was looted as well. The museum houses the great sculpture of Ramesses II and a garden of statues.
Other reports came in from Abusir and Sakkara which served as royal burial grounds for the aristocracy in the Old Kingdom period. The robbers dug up graves which were not open to visitors and looted the storehouses. ...
Scientists, archeologists and Egyptologists have approached the international community in an appeal to monitor the antiquities making their way to various markets in order to restore some of the lost artifacts.