Google executive goes missing in Egypt

'We are all ready to die,' Wael Ghonim posted on Twitter Friday

The day before Google executive Wael Ghonim went missing last week from Egypt's protests, he tweeted, "We are all ready to die." His family hasn't heard from him since Friday (Jan. 28).

Ghonim, Google's head of marketing in the Middle East and North Africa, wasn't politically inclined, according to news reports, but was interested in tweeting on the protests, which exploded in Egypt on Jan. 25. Following similar events in Tunisia, protesters are calling for the ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

One of the last posts on Ghonim's twitter account was "Pray for #Egypt. Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die #Jan25."

Ghonim's wife and brother last heard from him on Friday. His wife told Al Jazeera English yesterday that she is very concerned about him and is seeking information about his whereabouts.

Google officials have confirmed that Ghonim is missing, but declined to comment.

In related news, Google, Twitter and recent Google purchase SayNow have joined up to allow Egyptians to tweet on what's happening on the ground with a new service. It allows users to leave a voice mail at one of three international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855), and the messages are instantly dictated and tweeted at

"We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time" said a post on Google's official blog. "Our thoughts are with everyone there," wrote Ujjwal Singh, co-founder of SayNow and AbdelKarim Mardini, Google product manager for the Middle East and North Africa.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

My prayers go out for everyone undergoing the trying times in the mid-east and for their friends and family. Hopefully Ghonim will turn up safe and sound and there will be restraint in the mid-east and those countries will emerge with new leadership placing the people in a better condition.

I am very concerned that a good democracy requires a well educated population, and when the population is not well educated, the result of revolution is too often worse than the government they overthrew. Iran is, I believe, not better off after their revolution, and Russia got Stalin. I am praying that the people in those countries are able to set up a truly representative government for themselves and their oppression is relieved. I pray that they don't go from the frying pan to the fire.

Like this comment
Posted by Vernon
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

These hot headed individuals over there have it in their blood to fight....its a losing battle to even try to help them. There is a hell on earth and it is in this area.

Like this comment
Posted by what goes around
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

The US government has been propping up the Mubarak regime in Egypt for decades hoping that an oppressive dictatorship would be friendlier to Israel than a flourishing democracy. You can only stifle independent thought for so long. Now the people want freedom, but without the education and justice system to guide and support them, who knows what will happen? You can bet that fringe groups from all sides are looking for opportunity in the chaos.

Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I agree that it looks worrisome, but not every revolution ends in disaster--India still has a large uneducated populace, but while its road to functioning democracy has been bumpy, it's slowly been getting there. South Africa has had an unexpectedly smooth transition.

Let's hope Egypt goes the way of Turkey, not Iran.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,477 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 14 comments | 2,483 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,429 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 986 views

Is racism also a local problem?
By Diana Diamond | 25 comments | 784 views


Register today!

‚ÄčOn Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More