Arabic: خالد سعيد
Born: Jan. 27, 1982
Died: June 6, 2010
Khaled Said was a young Egyptian businessman who died under disputed circumstances in Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria on June 6, 2010. Khaled’s death is considered one of the motivating factors of Egypt’s January 25 Revolution.
Egyptian activists, Khaled’s family and popular opinion believe Khaled was beaten to death by police on June 6, 2010 while in police custody. The nature of the events is still disputed. Egyptian authorities claimed Khaled had suffocated after swallowing a baggie of drugs when he saw police coming.
Four days after Khaled’s death, prominent opposition figure Ayman Nour learned of the incident and quickly spread the news of Khaled’s death, along with images of his disfigured and broken face which his family had taken on a mobile phone in the autopsy room.
Anger soon rose among Egyptians and Khaled became known as a martyr. Egyptians saw his death as a symbol of the corrupt regime. Perhaps more importantly, many young, middle-class Egyptians saw Khaled as one of them: a young man who was not involved in politics. Many felt they could be the next Khaled Said.
Over the next month, dozens of demonstrations were held in Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere in memory of Khaled. In Alexandria, demonstrators wore black and stood along the sea-side promenade with a Bible or Quran and prayed for Khaled. A Facebook group called ‘We are all Khaled Said’ has over 1.3 million members, and was one of the loudest voices calling for change in Egypt in the months leading up to the Egyptian revolution.
Many analysts and commentators agree that Khaled’s death was one of the factors which led to Egypt’s January 25 revolution.