3 Social Media Stories from the Egyptian Revolution

Decades ago, mainstream media could broadcast and people watch; later people watched and reacted through mailing the programs or calling them on air. Today, we have our citizen media, we may critique or promote mainstream media

Story1: The Man Behind Seluiman

Story2: The jersey of the Prime Minister

Story3: ‘We’re Devastated … My Niece is Craving Pizza

Morality

Egyptians (like all peoples) have their own media, luckily they’re very well networked by social media, and we’re 5 million on Facebook only, and over 15 million online, which means: we have our media machine. Therefore, it’s is no longer laissez-passer with the state-sponsored propaganda

 

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“We’re Devastated… My Niece is Craving Pizza’

Once upon a social media time, people were watching everything mainstream media broadcast. Tthis morning my sister shared with me a 46 seconds video; a comment of an Egyptian actress on the revolution, which in 2 days only, the video was sent to more than 64,000 profiles on Facebook and watched on Youtube more than 10,000 times

Just to let you know what she said:

We’re devastated! Do you know what 10 days are…there are children who need to be fed… My niece is telling me ‘auntie, I’m craving Pizza ‘my nephew is saying ‘I’m craving Kebab’… he is a little two years old kid. You know, we’re used to order dinner everyday, but because of the protests all food shops closed their doors. What can you feed these children with?

This may sound normal, but now I find a remix song on the comment this actress gave, just to make fun of what she said, half a minute long comment were mocked on Facebook, on a page that got so far over 3,000 Likes!

People’s comment on this half a minute of mainstream media is still coming out … OUR media machine is still working!

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The Jersey of the Prime Minister

Ahmed Shafeek was the prime minister appointed by Mubarak before handing the power over, though, the currently ruling military council kept Shafeek in his occupation; which outraged most of the Egyptians, who didn’t accept Shafeek’s reaction to the revolution…

The prime minister who had been minister of civil aviation since 2002, used to dress formally, may be because of his job, but after he was appointed as a chief cabinet, he took his jacket and tie off and put on a jersey instead!


This ‘new look’ was not to pass without being discussed by people on their own media platforms. On Twitter and Facebook, Shafeek’s jersey was the city talk, for many people, the pro-Mubarak man took of his formal suit to look more casual and may be younger, as a way to approach young people who sparked the revolution.

pulloverShafi2’ means Shafeek’s jersey, بلوفر شفيق means Shafeek jersey and yes, all the content you find in the provided links is about the jersey that became more famous than the man!

When Shafeek was hosted on a talk show, people were waiting to see what clothes he is in, surprisingly, she didn’t wear a jersey, what made the hostess ask him politelyour audience online are wondering, why don’t you put on your jersey tonight?!’
This was the last appear to Shafeek, who resigned the next morning, after 2 weeks only of being the chief cabinet, saying he couldn’t stand the public pressure, what made the prominent Palestinian writer Mourid Barghouti tweet this.

At the moment, Shafeek’s jersey has lots of fans, who are supporting the jersey not Shafeek, in other words, they like the man who head the government to be casual and wear what a common man would wear, however the support is restricted to the jersey, not to Shafeek!

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The Man Behind Omar Seluiman

Over the Egyptian revolution, state –run TV along with the private satellite channels  owned by the regime associated businessmen, who, were portraying people of Tahrir square as ‘spies, who have hidden agenda’, the protestors were trained on ‘conducting non-violent coupe d’etat by setting some vital building on fire, such as the parliament’! These trainings were ‘under the auspices of CIA, MOSAD, Hizbollah and Iran’!

watch some of the propagands

According to the state run propaganda platforms, this lasted the 18 days of protests and changed 180 degrees after Hosni Mubark Step down.

May be the pro-Mubarak journalists thought their audience was convinced, they might not looked at their calendars and realize that we are in the year 2011, and everyone is able to create his own media platforms…

But whilst the world was watching Omar Seliuman announcing the hand over decision, Egyptians spotted a man standing behind Seluiman, they wondered who he is, he looks like a guard, but why he is around if the deputy president is giving his speech indoors.

 

Using social media, people started to think collectively about ‘the guy behind Omar Seluiman’, created groups on Facebook for this purpose, some investigative journalism were done, to reveal that the same guy stood behind Seliuman in more than a speech, some looks-alikes were offered, in an attempt to reveal his identity

 

It seemed to matter for many of us, as in 2 days, and we had all these Facebook groups to find an answer to this question: Who is the Man behind Omar Seliuman? (Read her some of their comments translated into English!)

Also have a look on how this anonymous guy impacted the Egyptian mind when running Photoshop program

Even some rap songs were done about him and his unrevealed identity

Finally, a Facebook user solved the enigma; as wrote that he is the son of the man behind Omar Seluiman, and gave the full details of his dad, who is a military leader.

The Son of the man behind Omar Seluiman also asked for an apology, he didn’t get that all the web content on his father didn’t mean the man personally, his case was just a representation to people’s sharp eye, and capability of seeing details, a spontaneous action to prove that audience aren’t less intelligent than media people, simply because people themselves became media persons too.

However, the man behind Omar Seluiman is not a part of propaganda, he was just doing his job, hence, people created a fan page for him, since seeing him standing behind Seluiman was a great inspiration , now the fans are close to hit 33,000 users.

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New Woman… New Media

This morning I had a Skype call with Nevine Fahem, from New Woman Foundation, a leading Cairo based NGO in the field of women rights. I first met Nevine last summer, when they started their project Women of Minya- Day by Day, as to teach digital technology to women in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, and help them to express themselves on the World Wide Web.

 

Besides being very active on the ground, New Woman Foundation also has a good online content, ranges between text and multimedia. In my conversation with Nevine, promoting this content was a key to support the foundation’s message especially that people are more attracted to photos, videos and audio more than the text.

Promoting such content might my task over March!

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Cartoonists… Social Media…Why not?!

Over the Egyptian revolution, numerous solidarity marches took place all over the world, in which we saw some cartoons on the protestors’ placards, especially those by the talented Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Lattuff


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The internet is a gift for everybody, as it works, not only because it functions like Aladdin Lantern and gives you results for whatever you type in its search engines, but also archives what You upload to it . However, in the cyber space, cartoons could be less fortunate than other creative forms of expression; unlike photos, videos and audios, cartoons have no similar social network.

Like Lattuff, there are many cartoonists who use their talents for activism, my best friend Doaa El Adl is one of them, and her drawings were used as banners too, in a local campaign in her home town Damietta (Nile Delta) against fertilizer plant, ever since she is trying to spread her cartoons through all the channels she accesses.

Doaa and her colleagues created Facebook groups for their cartoons, though, they are not sure, if it is a good idea to spread and store their cartoons, moreover, they know very little about other social net works.

 

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Now, I’m drafting a training plan for cartoonists in Cairo, to inform them more about social media, and they way it could be useful for them. Simultaneously, I ‘m pitching to the Arab Network for Human Rights, a leading regional organization, who focus on the online freedom and have been conducting multiple projects to bring more slices to the virtual world

Now, I’m drafting a training plan for cartoonists in Cairo, to inform them more about social media, and they way it could be useful for them. Simultaneously, I ‘m pitching to the Arab Network for Human Rights, a leading regional organization, who focus on the online freedom and have been conducting multiple projects to bring more slices to the virtual world

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Good News: You Might be a Capitalist!

These contacts on ’dialed’ and ‘received’ calls on your mobile phone, that group you hang out with Saturday nights, and these colleagues with whom you share launch everyday over a chat… all of them form your wealth!


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