In this video, I ask Denis how he came to be personally involved in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

Denis has always been interested in good stories. He began live tweeting what was going on in Egypt after realising that big things were happening, and that the public needed to know.

An extract from Breathing Hope and Fear

For 18 days the story would not let us up for air. At one point I remember remarking to fellow journalists as I followed reports and feeds for 18-hours+ each day, “this is like being on the ground backup crew for Apollo 13,” As they worked around the clock to find a solution for the stricken spacecraft. There was one astronaut who upon being urged to take a break replied… “They don’t get a break up there; we don’t take one here, let’s run it again.”

We became modern day Paul Reveres studying Google satellite maps, newsfeeds and working together to help those in Tahrir Square in whatever way we could. We all relayed information across a modern-day bush-telegraph; we were the missing link the Mubarak regime did not plan on, all working together to support revolutionaries and journalists on the ground fighting propaganda to support those giving, at times, the ultimate sacrifice for their freedom.

Revere’s lanterns hung in a church steeple and the message was delivered via shouts from horseback. Ours were passed along an unseen network of electrons, cell phones and satellite links. He rode through the streets on horseback in darkness to warn the colonists. We helped CNN and Al Jazeera producers communicate the latest to field reporters. A rag-tag citizen’s brigade of fighters crouched behind rocks, trees and picked off columns of advancing British soldiers. We let those in the Square know from which rooftops the next assault was likely to come because we had access to BBC live pictures that they did not.

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Egyptian Revolution 10th Anniversary Series with Denis G. Campbell

In this tenth-anniversary video series, I sit down with Denis G. Campbell, author of Breathing Hope and Fear: Egypt Since 2011, to discuss what led up to the 25 January Revolution, what the key moments were during it, why it failed, and the learnings we can take from it. I also ask him directly about his book: why write about Egypt, and why use the innovative tweet-based style he did? Posting every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday until the 26th – and, of course, on 25 January itself – I attach a relevant excerpt from Breathing Hope and Fear.

  1. What Caused the Egyptian Revolution of 2011?
  2. Why Did the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 Ultimately Fail?
  3. Why Write About Egypt?
  4. Why Did You Structure Your Book Like This?
  5. What Has Changed in Egypt Since 2018?
  6. What Has Changed in Egypt Since 2011?
  7. What Is the Most Memorable Moment of the 2011 Revolution?
  8. How Did You Come to Be Personally Involved in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011?
  9. Do You Have Any Other Works?
  10. One Key Takeaway for Westerners
  11. Could Another Egyptian Revolution Happen Soon?

About the author

Denis has provided Americas, Middle East and business commentary to global television networks (BBC, ITV, Al Jazeera, CNN, MSNBC), radio (BBC, China International Radio) and various magazines and newspapers for the last 14 years. An American/British journalist and author, he is based in Wales. Denis was significantly involved in covering the 25 January Egyptian Revolution at the time.

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