The Blog — Facebook Activism
As the crisis in Syria drones on, activists in the northern suburbs of the country’s fourth largest city, Hama, created a Facebook page called “The United Observatory in the Northern Suburbs of Hama.” The page has garnered almost three thousand subscribers, who receive frequent updates on the movements of Assad’s air-force.
As expatriated Syrian activists use Facebook and other social networking sites to express their thoughts and keep in touch with Syrians on the ground, the Assad regime continues to harass them both in real life and online.
Journalist Mariyam Jaber said she found several social websites where just the body parts of what appears to be Saudi women are displayed, such as feet, just the body or even fingernails, but without betraying her identity.
“This reveals a woman’s desire to liberate herself from social restrictions and express herself, and Facebook or other networking sites are the easiest platforms to achieve this,” she said.
The number of Saudis on Facebook is estimated at 2.3 million out of the 5 million in the Gulf. According to figures, 29 percent of Saudi Internet users visit Facebook and women under 25 account for 48 percent of all Internet users in the Kingdom.
“Most women on social networking sites use fake names. By displaying parts of their body and sometimes in glittering colors, young women must be achieving some sort of gratification or release of their emotions while anonymity guarantees them immunity from social censure or parental displeasure,” said Amal Al-Saleh, a university graduate. She added that many women prefer to present images resembling singers.
They display a passion for posting photos accompanied by minute details of their personal life on Facebook.
2011 was a BIG year for human rights and democracy activists using online and mobile technology for their movements and campaigns. Across Africa, MENA, Asia, and all over the world passionate non-violent activists have been able use Facebook, Twitter, Bambuser, Protest4, YouTube, SoundCloud, and more as a 'megaphone' to the rest of the world as they advocated for their rights. We are crowdsourcing the most inspiring articles, videos, and images from 2011 according to YOU! Using the hashtag #INSPIRATION share the memes that mean the most to you and we'll include them in our end of the year post.
Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi was arrested yesterday while trying to leave Syria via the Jordanian border. Razan was on her way to a conference in Amman about defending the freedom of the media in the Arab World when she was detained. Razan has a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Balamand in Lebanon, and she is the author of razanghazzawi.com where she defends freedom of expression. Additionally, she has been one of the few Arabic activists who advocates for the rights of homosexuals in the Arab World.
Facebook activists in Nepal are trading in politics for public improvements.
Aliaa El Mahdy, an Egyptian university student, has created a facebook page called “Resounding Cries,” which asks Egyptian men to post photos of themselves donning the hijab (Muslim veil). Mahdy feels that it is unjust that only women are required to wear the hijab, which reflects the unequal status of women in Islam.
Anver M. Emon, Ellen Lust, and Audrey Macklin interview Ahmed Saleh in Cairo and Nadine Wahab in Washington, D.C. about their experience as admins of the Facebook page which served as an information hub during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
Protest4, an app designed to allow non-violent protestors to connect and organize, launched last week and has already acquired a significant user base amongst political activists in Pakistan.