The roles of Facebook in the Egyptian Arab Spring

July 9, 2013

I recently presented a paper on the different roles of Facebook during the Egyptian Arab Spring at the International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (IFIP) 2013. This conference is one of the most important spaces to critically discuss the social implications of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in developing countries. IFIP not only brings together scholars, practitioners, and policymakers from different parts of the world, but also provides a multidisciplinary and multicultural space to discuss, plan, and work on theoretical, methodological, and practical challenges that ICT for development faces. IFIP 2013 focused on outlining crucial future challenges for the area, gaps that have not been addressed sufficiently, new technological possibilities, better understanding of institutional dimensions, and critical reflection on methodological approaches and theoretical positions that may guide our future thinking.

Youth, ICTs, and Democracy: Recent presentations

April 16, 2013

A recent TASCHA project, in the research area of Social Movements, explored how Facebook and social media was used in Egypt before and during the Arab Spring. The Youth, ICTs, and Democracy in Egypt project drew on social movement theory and emphasizes various lines of analysis, asking the main research question, how did the use of ICTs impact the evolution of the youth movement and the trajectory of the Egyptian revolution? Findings from this research have recently been presented at multiple venues by members of the project team.

TASCHA student Norah Abokhodair reflects on AoIR 13 conference

November 9, 2012

Along with fellow TASCHA student Luis Fernando Baron, I had the opportunity to attend the 13th Association of Internet Research conference (AoIR 13). At the beginning of the conference, we were welcomed to the University of Salford by the Internet Research President Alex Halavais. He made a special point of welcoming first-time attendees, and as one, I felt personally greeted. Then the first session started with the “ignite” talks, where each speakers gets 5 minutes—but must have 20 slides and each slide must automatically progress forward in 15 seconds.

TASCHA students present on Youth, ICTs, and Democracy in Egypt at AoIR 13

TASCHA students Norah Abokhodair and Luis Fernando Baron participated in the 13th conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) at University of Salford in Manchester between 18 and 21 of October 2012. The conference focused on the theme of technologies, considering the impact of the Internet in a context where life is entangled with technologies of all kinds.

ICTs-facilitated & ICTs–facilitating connections between Tunisian and Egyptian youth movements and activists

July 23, 2012

The diffusion and exchange of knowledge between the dissent movements of the non-democratic countries is very important for the success of their struggle. Indeed, learning from both the best practices and mistakes of others who are in the similar situations helps you both to use the most effective tools, strategies and tactics in the similar situations of your own political endeavors, and to avoid errors which you could commit without such a knowledge transfer. During the Arab Spring such transfers occurred between many oppositional movements of the region, particularly – between the Tunisian and Egyptian ones.

Tunisia – Egypt: Transferring revolutionary experience online

July 12, 2012

Mid-December 2010 witnessed the largely unnoticed beginning of the sequence of highly contentious events which eventually changed the geopolitics of the whole Middle East. On December 17th, the individual protest action in the provincial Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid sparked a surge of protest activities which, within four weeks, ousted the long-ingrained regime of President Ben Ali and started a wave of revolutions across the whole Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, known as the “Arab Spring.” All these revolutions, despite their appearing differences, share a number of important features which allow researchers to classify them similarly. Particularly, in all these attempted revolutions, modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) played important roles.

From a Facebook Group to a Social Movement: The Trajectory of the April 6th Youth Movement and the Revolution in Egypt

July 10, 2012

Over the past few months, the research team behind the Youth, ICTs, and Democracy in Egypt project has collected and coded a series of Facebook posts, blogs, newspapers, and interviews with key actors to tease out the different roles social media played in the trajectory of the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt (A6YM). This is the first of a series of blog posts which will share the emerging findings as the analysis of the data collected through this diversity of sources progresses. The multiplicity of narratives in the sources represented in the data will help us portray a more nuanced landscape not only on the varieties and variability of uses and roles of social media, but also on the complexity of the socio-technological interactions/assemblages among different institutions, organizations, and individuals that are part of the contemporary political processes of social change.