Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, made the revolutions in North Africa possible, American Senator John McCain said at the Brookings Institute on Thursday after returning from a trip to the region.
He added that Zuckerberg was the most popular person in the Middle East as a result of the importance of Facebook in organizing people to the streets.
“This social networking cannot be underestimated in how all of these events, really the driving force in how all of this transformed and took place,” McCain said in his comments.
McCain and fellow senator Joseph Lieberman both participated in the discussion at the Wasthington-based institute following their trip to the region and a way to inform public discussion of the ongoing unrest in the MENA region.
Lieberman said that the changes, “Even more consequential than the collapse of the Soviet Union” and suggested, “It’s in our strategic interest at this moment to help history move in the right direction.”
Further emphasizing the role technology played in Egypt, McCain told of a story he heard from a young man while in Egypt, who held up his blackberry and said, “I can get 200,000 people in the square in two hours.”
“Egypt is the heart and soul of the Arab world,” McCain said. “What happens in Egypt will be vital to what happens in the rest of the region.”
By Joseph Mayton