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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Namees Arnous

Interviewed August 3, 2012

But in 2009 I decided to – I was working in this channel, but I haven’t space – enough space to talk about a lot of issues happening in Egypt. I decide to make an NGO interested in media, especially online media, as we haven’t enough money and we hadn’t resources to make satellite – TV satellite. So we created an online radio, and I had a program on online radio talking about all the things the channel prevent me to talk about.

And after I resigned, during the revolution I covered as a journalist by – but to the – online radio. Till now I have no job in TV. I still manage the online media because the only way we can express ourself – it’s the only way we can express by freedom is online on the Internet. The independent channels, the independent media is not pure. They have relationship with the regime. Even the Mubarak’s regime or now the military regime, they have a very good and very strong relationship with them.

And they are against freedom of expression. And I believe that the revolution – one of the principles of the revolution, to express the people and the issues free. So I just work as an – as you said, as NGO activist and maybe freedom-of-expression defender.

My decision to resign from my channel in my opinion have a very strong impact. And it’s very enough for me. The audience and the viewers of channel is to believe it, because I was one of the staff who say that everything inside the channel, it’s not true. They are pro-Mubarak and pro-regime, and they just promote lies about demonstrators. And that’s – it’s that – the one impact I believe it’s very important to do.

And what I – what the feedback from the channel to me, it’s hurt me just for two days, because it’s the first channel I work. And I learned a lot about media. And I have a very good relationship with them. But they decided to break all this respect between each other, and they decided to try to save the regime from fallen by the people. And after two days I realized that I have to be happy because I decided to be with the side of the people, not the side of the regime.

A lot of – a lot of posts on my wall on Facebook, they accused me as I am a foreign agency; I am taking money from U.S. So I decided to — left my job, and to be in Tahrir Square was our job. So I get money to live. But it’s not affect me more, has not left a very bad impact on me, because we all accused by the media. All the youth went to Tahrir Square were accused by the media. And the same the people in my channel said about me, all the media said about all the youth inside Tahrir Square. So I think we all were in the same boat in this big sea, trying to save our lives from this dictatorship regime.

I created nongovernmental and a nonprofit organization in Egypt until 2009. We started by online radio to express ourselves, because the traditional media is the media of states, independent media and the private media not express us. And we register as a civil company and we get funds from U.S. organization. It’s NED, National Endowment of Democracy, which is the first one support us to make a project about media, because my organization is interested in freedom of expression, human rights, democracy and the free media.

We’re interested in training young journalists about free media and professional media and make some workshop for youths and students of universities about democracy and human rights and minorities’ rights. We’re interested in media, more and freedom of expression; interested in online media and social media, have an online radio and web news and web TV, broadcast a lot of videos and discuss a lot of issues. Maybe it’s – we have no limits. We have no red lines. We just make a model – our own model of free media.