Egyptian Protester Memorial Goes Viral On 1000Memories

1000 Memories co-founders Rudy Adler, Jonathan Good and Brett Huneycutt were minding their own business (literally) last Thursday night when they received the following unexpected email:

Hi guys,

I’m reaching out to you guys to see if you can help me and a whole nation remember the brave souls that fell fighting for our freedom.

I’m an Egyptian living in Toronto and have been a big HNer and follower of your site. I’ve been watching the events in Egypt unfold over the course of the last 10 days with a feeling of helplessness because I can’t join other young people that took it upon themselves to stand up for freedom, dignity and reform. Reports have shown that there are at least 200 that have been killed so far due to the government’s violent response to the peaceful protests. It really hit me when I saw several pictures of those that have passed away: fbid=10150132914260110&id=593045109&aid=332932

I realized then that the least we can do is not forget these brave young men and women, and to honor them by letting the whole nation know who they were. I remembered the video you guys just released. The way you guys were able to convey a very thoughtful and considerate message makes me believe you guys will understand what I’m trying to do and help me do it best.

I wanted to use your site to set up individual pages of these heroes and I’ll do that with a team working with me. However, I need your help to come up with a way/idea to bring them all together for the nation to see. Something akin to an online monument; a page that will help young people honor the memory of those heroes and for the whole world to see and then dive deeper into their individual pages.

I know you guys must be working like crazy to move your product roadmap forward with no time for some side projects like that. However, I promise you this: Work with me to come up and create the best way we can remember those souls and I will make sure this pays off for you guys. A whole nation is in deep pain seeing those young people die; I hope you can help me and other Egyptians turn that pain into a monument of pride.

Mahmoud Hashim

Toronto entrepreneur Mahmoud Hashim had seen 1000Memories, a free service that builds profile pages for people who have passed away, on YCombinator’s Hacker News and thought that the product could be utilized to build a group memorial for those killed in Egypt’s #Jan25 protests. He offered to build the memorial himself.

Moved by the Mahmoud Hashim’s plea, the 1000Memories co-founders instead stayed up all night creating Egypt Remembers, the first ever 1000Memories group page. Hashim woke up to the page already made on Friday morning.

After they sent out the sent to Hashim and others, the page immediately went viral, bringing in over 150,ooo unique views in the first 48 hours. Since it went up it has garnered over 46,835 Facebook shares and 4,121 tweets.

“At some point we were getting over a tweet per minute. People were rallying around it because it puts a face on the numbers we see in the news,” said co-founder Adler.

What’s more remarkable is that a little more than half of its traffic is coming directly from Egypt according to Adler, due to shares from influencers like New York Times’ human rights blogger Nick Kristof and popular Egyptian televangelist Amr Khaled, who shared it on his 2 million strong Facebook fan page.

While 1000Memories first pulled its initial list of the departed from a collaborative Google Doc, people have started emailing in names and photos of loved ones directly. After verifying the information with Human Rights Watch officials on the ground in Egypt the cofounders are now linking these and the individual memory pages created (like this one) directly to the main page.

Right now the page documents 142 people killed in the anti-Mubarak protests after January the 25th, with the exception of Khaled Said whose murder is said to have sparked the protests.

Says Adler about the future of the page, “We’re committed to keeping it updated. We’re doing our best to verify all the information that comes in and working with the families to create memory pages … We’re glad we can help.”