University of San Francisco Honors Egypt's Pro-Democracy Demonstrators

By University Of San Francisco, PRNE
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prominent Egyptian blogger "Sandmonkey" to accept on their behalf

SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2011 - The University of San Francisco (USF) will confer an honorary doctorate
on the youth of Egypt who used technology to mobilize a non-violent
revolution and bring down the corrupt and oppressive regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Mahmoud Salem, author of Egypt's influential pro-democracy blog, "Rantings of
a Sandmonkey," will accept the degree on their behalf. University President
Stephen A. Privett, S.J., will bestow the degree during USF's School of
Nursing graduation ceremony on Thurs., May 19 at 6 p.m. Mr. Salem will also
address the graduates.

"USF educates students to initiate positive change in the world and
proudly honors the young men and women of Egypt who have done so," Privett
said. "We hope that this award will be an inspiration and example for the
entire university community. USF recognizes this use of technology to advance
fundamental human rights in hopes that others may similarly employ technology
to fashion a more humane and just world for all."

After suffering for nearly three decades under Mubarak's regime, Egyptian
protestors took a stand for democracy on January 25, 2011, and for eighteen
days they faced police, bullets and tear gas. More than 800 demonstrators
were killed in the streets. Sheer determination coupled with the effective
use of new technology and social media, the pro-democracy demonstrators
prevailed. Egypt and its citizens stand witness to the power of nonviolent

Mahmoud Salem, blogger, activist and writer who is credited with helping
put a human face on the protests, is flying from Cairo to the U.S. to accept
the degree of Doctor of Humane letters. His award-winning blog, "Rantings of
a Sandmonkey," is the most prominent English-language blog in Egypt, and has
received more than 5.5 million unique views. Salem has more than 40,000
followers on Twitter and posted dozens of videos online that exposed police
brutality and the beatings and torture of ordinary Egyptian citizens. Fearing
for his safety, Salem kept his identity anonymous for many years, but
revealed himself in February after being beaten by police at the height of
the revolution.

The graduation ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 19 at St.
Ignatius Catholic Church on the USF campus-located at 650 Parker Ave. (at
Fulton Street), San Francisco, 94118.

The University of San Francisco was established in 1855, making it San
oldest university. It is consistently ranked as one of the most
ethnically diverse universities in the country. USF is committed to being a
premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university with a global perspective that
educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. With nearly
9,600 students, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and
professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons
and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and
women for others.

To request interviews with Mr. Salem or USF President Stephen A. Privett,
S.J., please contact Anne-Marie Devine, director of Media Relations at USF,
at 415.422.2697 or

Anne-Marie Devine of University of San Francisco, +1-415-422-2697, abdevine at

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