In the Documentary Cairo Drive, created by Sherief Elkatsha, was a film that was extremly eye opening and informative about the Egyptian culture. This was not a film that touched on major events, protests, and riots, but on the everyday task of driving.
Its awesome watching something like this because It gives the viewers the ability to see another practical experience from a different country. I was able to grow more knowledge and understand the basics behind trying to commute and live in eygpt. Which to me seems like quite an overwhelming place to live.
Whats crazy to me is that, on a day to day basis, driving is by far the most dangerous thing we do. We may forget this at times, but being behind a 2 ton car at 60 mph is life threatening. According to some of the military officers in the film, he claims that the driving laws are the exact same the USA. Seat belt required, kids in car seats, bikes wear helmets, and others. But it was quite obvious that this wasn’t the case when you see 5 guys on a motor cycle, baby hanging out the window, and people sanding on top of their cars in the middle of cairo drive.
Additionally, what I thought was crazy was the fact that, drivers state that, “Driving here is about filling in the whole and moving fast.” Which as a result we see a 8 to 10 car pill up resulting in multiple deaths. It obvious that the law and the people of Egypt cleary do not respect the government and want to continue to be rebellious until other things change within the country.
And finally, the fact that the one women didn’t have to take a drivers test, but was able to just get her licenses without any fight or questioning, is absolutely absurd. In ways I think its hilarious and awesome for that girl, but what kind of country doesn’t truly respect this dangerous activity and puts other people at risk? Egypt. Complete lack of responsibility.
In the Research Paper “Saudi Islamists and the Arab Spring” by Stephane Lacroix, talked about many different ways social activism and protesting has been seen within Saudi Arabia throughout the years. “By the early 2000’s, after the repressive years of the mid-to-late 1990’s, islamists had once again become an influential voice on social and political issues in Saudi Arabia. Until about 2011, the people of Saudi Arabia had a discussion about change within the Kingdom. This most likely was caused by the revolution of Egypt and Tunisia, giving the people more motivation to speak up, looking for the possibility to have more equal rights across the region. During the process of this change, Saudi Arabia received US aid, donations, and other goods to help the country grow further. They created more jobs and housing within the state, but unfortentley this was just a short term effort to a much bigger problem. The quick economic boom was great, but more needed to happen. Which was when the a group of powerful Saudi Arabian “big names,” signed the petition “Towards a State of Right and Institutions.” This petition demanded an elected parliament and the appointment of a prime minister. The combo between the two appeared to put some serious pressure on the regime. But in closing, it appears that there are many different sects of activists within Saudi Arabia, looking for change in many different areas within the states. But unfortunately no one is perfect. So in order for these protestors and activists to succeed against Kingdoms and the royal families ruling they must continue to work together to over come these dark times. The constant spread and awareness that these people bring public has created a better world wide knowledge to the imperfections and harsh details that are going on within these Middle East Areas.
After reading this Case Study, I first want to say that I was very interested in reading all the stats and points within the article. It was extremely eye popping and visual satisfying, which allowed for myself to enjoy and engage in the details within.
Within the reading, I was able to understand further that the Police are poorly trained and the rule of Law within Egypt regarding sexual harassment is weak. With that being said, the citizens within lose faith in existing laws and fear that women will continuously be mistreated and taken advantage of. Additionally, to my understanding, there are already a few governed laws regarding sexual harassment and violence, but the only way for the community to reinforce these “weak,” laws is to work together through social media platforms, to create a voice and dialogue among the girls and women that have been violated. There are also phone numbers to reach that allow free legal aid, psychological counseling and self-defence classes. These resources are useful because they help connect victims and women in general in Egypt to fight together rather then being alone. This is a very important because whenever situations like this occur, people tend to mentally fight the battles, asking their selfs “Why” or believing that it was their fault. So having guidance and support groups is beneficial in many ways, especially when the government doesn’t provide legit help. As well, having digital technology allows the community to become more aware and creates organization to have specific group gatherings.
In closing, the stat of 75% of victims in public received no help from passers-by is absolutely outrageous. The reason being, is because I have lived a life of fortune, with great parents, living in great areas. I was always taught to respect women and to cherish them. Additionally, most people in second and third world countries were never taught to properly treat women and to use them as toys or objects rather then as equals. But as time continues to push forward, more digital activism is rising, creating slow amounts of awareness to these second and third world countries. If these governments won’t defend the people and punish the harassers properly then the people will continue to join together to overcome these adversities. Its only bound to happen with the higher use of phones, computers, and television.
DigiActive is starting to sound like the number one source to release your feelings, state the facts, and share with the world the information that is happening internally within ones country, especially Beirut. In the article, Jessica Dheere states, “Despite the fact that they live under repressive regimes-or perhaps because of it-these individuals may be the next iconic defenders of free speech, not just in the Arab world but around the globe.” I believe that this was a big step for a lot of these activist because having the ability to join forces together and brain storm ideas to protest and get the citizens active within the community is a big step for countries like Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, and etc.
Additionally, after reading this article and understanding that people want Bloggers to behave more like journalists because “it would be easier to protect,” is in my opinion true. But I don’t think its something that should happen at all because Bloggers create a much greater dent and impact on society, from arranging protests/meetings, to thoroughly researching a topic and telling the story so everyone can know about it. Obviously Journalist strike similar traits, but being a journalist requires professionalism and censorship. While Bloggers, there is no holding back. Which is in fact why people like Mohammed Erraji was sentenced to two years in prison. He continued to break the line of speaking freely and did not care for the consequences or at least he never thought they would be so harsh.
In closing, I have a personal question I wish to ask any of you reading this blog….Its obvious protest, blogging, and organized groups are the key to elements to together in countries like Egypt. But its obvious still that change isn’t going to come anytime soon. What do you think is the next step to helping the people (Ex. Egypt) the ability to have more Human Rights, Freedom of Speech, and peace within? The Second Revolution? External Countries getting involved and fighting along the citizens? America cutting Egypt off?
Fact of the Day: The United States supports Egypt as a key ally-with aid, arms, and military “cooperation”-despite the widespread and documented human rights abuses.
Today is a day that should be a day of celebration, love, happiness and joy. But instead Egypt’s new leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has put the fear back into the citizens. He has deployed troops, raiding homes and cultural centers, looking for people that “are aimed at polarizing society and mobilizing the masses against the government.” Additionally, after reading a few articles online right now I have been able to understand that some activists are stating that “the scale state repression today is even worse than under Mubarak.” So with that people continue to fight for their freedom and their ability to have a voice over this regime and police state.
Furthermore, today I went to the panel from 1:30 to 3:15. And the some of the facts I took out of it, was that just because the revolution doesn’t necessarily mean their has been a drastic change within the country. For example, one story was that police would accuse people that are sleeping on the streets for crimes they never committed, which is again an example of this irrational police led state. Additionally, the discussion of the ban of Ultras was a very interesting subject that I never knew about. “They will not be able to act in the name of those groups during football matches, nor will they have any voice in face of the regime, and any person acting in their name should be arrested,”said by Anti Ultra Lawyer. Continually, Its really hard to hear about all these rules, laws, and crimes committed by the internal system within Egypt. It would be quite a tough place to live and to follow the rules especially living in a place like America. So for those that educating themselves on these issues taking place within Egypt, it time for us in America to stop taking for granted the pleasures and freedom we have within the states.
In the article, Youth and Citizenship in the Digital Age: A View from Egypt, written by Linda Herrera, is a enjoyable read because it highlighted the fact that Social Media in Egypt has helped the youth grow and expand. Unfortunately though, there is constantly a battle within the United States, stating that Media is starting to change how people act, walk and talk. We a the post-modernize era that is changing so rapidly because of this constant need to have social media, which in turn is creating social trauma, war, and economic crisis. But in countries like Egypt, its evident that they are thriving together as a civilian nation, using their social media platforms as a way to blog, debate, and eventually create statements about their governments policies, laws and wrong doings. A lot of people are starting to use this as a positive way to be an activists and to build a stronger group of believers.
Additionally, with every negative their is a positive and for every positive their usually is a negative. With that being said, I also found it interesting that Herrera brought up the fact that our generation is lacking skills in long term planning and visions. It is very obvious that our 1st world countries are starting to become so engulfed in using social media/technology, that we are starting to lose the ability to focus and have attention to subjects. Many professors and sources believe that because of the constant use of Media more children and adults are being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. But to continue, I do not fully agree with Herrera stating that its hard for us to create long term visions. I believe that we are all still very capable with being a successful human beings.But It just takes a little more effort because more people believe they are being watched, which in turn can create a lack of drive and lack of confidence.
For my project, I would like to put together a video that displays current issues going on in the Middle East or at least in the past 5 to 10 years. I am not specifically sure what points I will touch on but I know I want to be able to put together video clips,news reports, and any extra media information to make a dramatic short video. This will require an intensive amount of internet research and scanning of videos in order to cut and edit clips that are impactful and meaningful to our video theme.
Specifics video ideas:
Police brutality: “We Are All Khaled Said”
**Syrian Civil War: 300,000 dead and 11 million are displaced
All of these examples would be looked at more thoroughly to create a video that creates tension and political knowledge to whats happening in the Middle East. Additionally, I may also create this video with the intent on creating contrasting images from the Middle East to the United States. This would create a greater impact on the viewers especially those within the US.
After reading both of these articles, I was able to expand my knowledge on the social issues that have developed over the past few decades within Egypt. Young Eygyptains were at one point living a life filled with uncomfortable realities of drug abuse, religious extremism, poor-quality education, unemployment, sexual frustration and late marriage. All of these issues were caused by the Egyptian governement due to 1967 Emergency Law. But it was through the social movement of a Facebook page, known as “We are all Kahled Said,” has helped to open up the eyes of political leaders within Egypt. The harsh reality of life is that in order for change to happen someone needs to be willing to die for a specific belief or cause. For example, the United States specifically had people like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, and JFK die for their beliefs. Death is never the ultimate goal, but its through death that society starts recognize the true necessity of human rights and the power of speaking and living freely.
After the death to Khaled Said, social media became the main platform for arguing and discussing the inequalities that young eygptians face on a day to day basis. Facebook and Twitter became the voice and heart for many people because it gave them a feeling of acceptance an purpose within Egyptian politics. In all honest, I truly believe that their are two sides to looking at Social Media; The helpful and the destroyer.
The helpful is that by having this Digital Movement has given us all a better widespread understanding of how the world works and functions. We get to educate our selves daily, by understand more about different cultures and social socetietes. As well, we are able to take situations like the death of Khaled Said to create a social activist uproar and eventually an internal revolution.
The destroyer is that by having such a widespread 24/7 media platform gives people the ability to see the harsh realities of life. We are more susceptible to creating world issues by having access to information the 20th century could have never imagined. As well, because of these platforms people are also starting to become more socially awkward which in turn causes a form of depression, anxiety, stress and etc.
In closing, both articles were very interesting to read and understand. I am though vary curious to hear back from you guys to see if you think having social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are helpful or destroying our society?