Microblogging site Twitter became the mouthpiece of many Egyptians during the recent mass uprising in the country and now a selection of key tweets and photos posted during the revolution are being made into a book.
Titled ‘Tweets from Tahrir: Egypt’s Revolution as It Unfolded, in the Words of the People Who Made It’, the book is being published by OR Books.
Composed entirely of tweets, the book will provide a narrative of the revolution through a collection of Twitter posts.
“The Twitter accounts of the activists who brought heady days of revolution to Egypt in January and February this year paint an exhilarating picture of an uprising in real-time,” the publishing company said in a statement.
“This book brings together a selection of key tweets in a compelling, fast-paced narrative, allowing the story of the uprising to be told directly by the people in Tahrir Square,” the statement said.
The book will be edited by British journalist Alex Nunns and activist Nadia Idle, an Egyptian who was on the ground in Cairo during the protests.
The duo had begun keeping records of the Tweets as they were being posted online during the demonstrations.
They have combed through feeds ever since to build a portrait of the “first draft of history”.
OR Books’ co-founder Colin Robinson said the book will contain contributions from roughly fifty tweeters, all of whom have been contacted by Nunns and Idle and have granted permission to be included in the collection.
Photographs taken and posted on the microblogging site by the protestors would be used to illustrate and provide “remarkable snapshots from the heart of the action.”
He added that the book would help preserve tweets that may have been lost or forgotten.
Robinson said OR Books did not contact Twitter to obtain the company’s permission for using the tweets.
He added that he thinks Twitter will like the book.
“I think Twitter is going to be supportive of the book. I think they should be proud of the fact that their technology helped these young people.”
The book will take the readers through each day of the revolution until the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February.
It will be released on April 21, a little over two months after the revolution ended Mubarak’s 30 year rule.
It will be sold for $12 in paperback form and $10 in e-book form.
“History has never before been recorded in this fashion. The tweet limit of 140 characters evidently concentrated the feelings of those using Twitter. Raw emotions burst from their messages, whether frantic alarm at attacks from pro-government thugs or delirious happiness at the fall of the dictator,” the company said.
Reading these tweets will be tantamount to “a rollercoaster ride, from the surprise and excitement of the first demonstration, to the horror of the violence that claimed hundreds of lives, to the final ecstasy of victory.”