Oprah to host show in Tahrir Square

2011-03-04 11:05

US television talkshow star Oprah Winfrey is to host a live show from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of a revolution that ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a report said today.

Egypt’s new tourism minister Munir Fakhri Abdelnur was quoted by the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper as saying Winfrey had accepted an invitation “without hesitation”.

“The plan is for her to broadcast a live show from Tahrir Square on a Friday in March, but the date has not been finalised,” the mass-circulation paper said.

It was part of a campaign to revive tourism in Egypt after the huge uprising that forced Mubarak to resign on February 11 after 30 years in power, the paper said.

“The most famous TV hostess in the world accepted without hesitation,” Abdelnur as saying.

There was no immediate confirmation from Winfrey, who in January launched her OWN cable network, aired in 145 countries around the world.

In December Winfrey made her first tapings outside North America, recording a series of episodes in Australia culminating in a finale at the specially renamed Sydney “Oprah House”.

Her reported visit to Cairo would be altogether different, focusing on the central Cairo square where pro-democracy activists gathered for more than two weeks in an uprising that sent shockwaves around the world.

The revolt against Mubarak’s rule was notable for the central role played by social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, to mobilise crowds to take to the streets.

US President Barack Obama has hailed the toppling of the strongman as a defining moment in world history, and added that Tahrir Square itself had become deeply symbolic.

“The word Tahrir means liberation. It’s a word that speaks to that something in our souls that cries out for freedom,” Obama said.

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