Egyptian activists hail Arab Nobel Peace Prize winner

CAIRO – Egyptian cyber dissidents who were touted as Nobel Peace Prize candidates congratulated the Yemeni activist on Friday who shared the honor with two Liberians for her "well deserved win."

"Congratulations to Tawakkul Karman for her well deserved win," Wael Ghonim posted in a Twitter message, describing himself as "a proud Arab."

"Our real prize is for our countries to be more democratic and more respectful of human rights," Ghonim said.

Ghonim had created a Facebook page entitled "We are all Khaled Said" – named after a man killed by Egyptian police who became a symbol of the fight against police abuse – which helped launch the call for protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Esraa Abdel Fattah, another cyber activist whose Facebook page "April 6" also pushed for nationwide protests in January/February, congratulated Karman for her win.

"Congratulations to Tawakkul – and to Arab women – for her Nobel Peace Prize," said Abdel Fattah, who now runs a NGO to promote democracy and human rights in Egypt.

"I feel full of pride for Egyptian and Arab youth for their (possible) nominations. May God help us achieve for Egypt much more than the prize," she said.

The Nobel Peace Prize was won by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian "peace warrior" Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman.

The three prizewinners share the 2011 award "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work," Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said in his announcement.

Ghonim and Abdel Fattah were among three Egyptian cyber activists – including Ahmed Maher – whose names had been floated as possible winners for their contribution to protests that ended the 30-year authoritarian rule of Hosni Mubarak in February.

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