Remembering Khaled Said

It is one year since the killing of a young Egyptian man helped trigger a revolution.

Today marks the first anniversary of the murder of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian man who was allegedly beaten to death at the hands of the Egyptian police on 6 June 2010, and whose plight helped inspire a generation of young Egyptians to rise up against their government.

What made Khaled's death so poignant, however, was not the brutality and cruelty exhibited by the Egyptian police force, who reportedly hit him and smashed his head against objects as they dragged him from the internet café where he was arrested -- such cases were only too common in a country where police brutality was considered almost the norm.

Rather, it was the way that the death of this young man became a rallying point for Egypt's disillusioned youth that secured him a place in the country's history. Through the power of the internet, and facilitated by gruseome autopsy photos of Khaled's bruised and battered body posted online by his brother, he was transformed from an ordinary victim into a potent symbol of an oppressed society. Wael Ghonim, Google marketing excecutive and one of the key individuals involved in the protests of 25 January 2011, created a Facebook page called "We are all Khaled Said" that quickly reached notoriety status and helped raise international awareness of the growing discontent in Egypt.

One year on, and the mangled corpse of a young man has arguably resulted in the overthrow of an entire governmental system in Egypt, and a wave of civil unrest rippling out from North Africa across the Middle East. Much has happened in the twelve months since Khaled was killed, but for the people of his country and across the Arab world as a whole, many questions still remain about the future of their nations and their place within them. One year may be long enough to change the world, but only time will tell whether this change will be for the better.

For the moment, however, we should take a moment to remember Khaled Said -- the man who, through his death, became "The Face That Launched a Revolution".

Emanuelle Degli Esposti is a freelance journalist currently living and working in London. She has written for the Sunday Express, the Daily Telegraph and the Economist online.

Emanuelle Degli Esposti is the editor and founder of The Arab Review, an online journal covering arts and culture in the Arab world. She also works as a freelance journalist specialising in the politics of the Middle East.

David Lammy. Photo: Getty
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David Lammy calls for parliament to overturn the EU referendum result

The Labour MP for Tottenham said Britain could "stop this madness through a vote in Parliament".

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, has called on parliament to stop Brexit.

In a statement published on Twitter, he wrote: "Wake up. We do not have to do this. We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament. Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU. 

"The referendum was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The Leave campaign's platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn't voted to Leave. Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit, and there should be a vote in Parliament next week. Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson."

Lammy's words follow a petition to re-run the referendum, which has gathered 1.75 million signatures since Friday.

However, the margin of victory in the referendum - more than a million votes - makes it unlikely party leaders would countenance any attempt to derail the Brexit process. On Saturday morning, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said there should be no second referendum. Tory leader David Cameron has also accepted the result, and triggered a leadership election.

It is true, though, that had Britain's EU membership been decided in parliament, rather than by a referendum, there would have been an overwhelming vote to Remain. Just 138 Tory MPs declared for Leave, compared with 185 for Remain. In Labour, just 10 declared for Leave, versus 218 for Remain, while no Lib Dem, Scottish Nationalist, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein or SDLP MPs backed Leave.

Rob Ford, an academic who has studied Ukip voters, said Lammy's call was "utter madness":