NEW YORK - The revolution that played out in the streets of Cairo started online.
Google executive Wael Ghonim created a Facebook page that served as a bullhorn to rally protesters. For that, Egyptian authorities detained him for 12 days.
In a telephone interview today, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric asked him how it feels to see his calls for change finally answered.
Ghonim: I am feeling proud.
They told us that our country died 30 years ago. They used emergency law as a basis for that - for anyone who tried to search for the country.
We did not believe them. Over time, we basically decided to start a campaign to search for our country.
The campaign started in the thousands of people on the 5th, and the campaign became hundreds of thousands of people in the next few days.
Over 20 days, millions of people were looking for Egypt and we ended up finding it finally.
It was not easy. There were lots of people who died. Those are the true heroes. Those are ones we don't want to forget. They had a dream. They really wanted a better Egypt. I'm proud today because I feel like they did not die for nothing. They died, and Egypt is a free country right now.Couric:Someone we interviewed recently said the Internet doesn't create courage, it only spreads it. Ghonim: I fully agree with what he said. At the end of the day, the Internet was the main channel. We were informing each other, we collaborate with each other. Everyone doing their own small share and put all that effort together we had one goal, which was a free Egypt - and we managed to achieve it. Couric: You didn't speak very much about those 12 days you were detained. What was that like?
Ghonim: It was tough that's what I can say - it was really tough.
Couric: Some people have said you will play a role in the new government. Would you like to have some kind of position?
Ghonim: Absolutely not. I want to go back to my normal life. I've done my role. I told my fellow Egyptians - I don't want anything out of this. I truly don't want anything out of this. I just want to walk in the streets and say I'm proud of being Egyptian. We deserve that. All Egyptians deserve a better future, but I don't think I'll be having any role.
Couric:What needs to happen now to make you believe that real reform will take place and all this was worth it?
Ghonim: I do believe that real reform was taking place.
I trust 80 million Egyptians, the giant is awake now and no one is going to put him to sleep again.
Couric: Wael Ghonim, thank you so much for your time.
Ghonim: Thanks a lot.
(Watch clips below: Ghonim on "Revolution 2.0," The Role of the Press, and His Job at Google)
His Job at Google
The Role of the Press
His Job at Google