Rewiring the Youth’s Consciousness + Project Pitch

In “Youth and Citizenship in the Digital Age: A View from Egypt,” Linda proposed the idea that in this digital era, the youth have become a “wired generation.” She asserts that the term, wired generation, really encompasses how communication in this digital era has led to a “rewiring” of youth’s consciousness. This means that the youth, unlike before, have become a force to be reckoned with due to their digitally active participation in social and political systems.

The wired generation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which are under authoritarian regime, are in constant conditions of “political repression and economic exclusion,” unemployment, injustice, etc, etc. Thankfully, with the massive use of communication tools from this digital era, the youth are now waking up and becoming aware of their conditions, which are causing them to not be silent and begin fighting for their rights. This social network revolution that was a catalyst, but not the primary reason, for the 25 January Revolution, has become an extension of their “social, political, psychological, and even spiritual life.” An example of how important this digital era is in making youth actively participating in the political arena, are Facebook pages like “We Are Khaled Said” and the “April 6th Youth Movement,” which are movements showing what the wired generation can do in this digital era.

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Project Pitch:

Upon reading “Feminist Insurrections and The Egyptian Revolution,” by Paul Amar, I decided that I really wanted my project to focus and campaign on women’s rights around the world, specifically in the Middle East. I still want to develop my topic further and make it more specific, even though I know that there is a tapestry of problems that need to be addressed in regards with women’s rights around the world, so I’m considering campaigning for protection of women from sexual harassment or campaigning against the ridiculous violations/restrictions on women’s rights, for example how in Saudi Arabia and Morocco rape victims can be charged with crimes, etc, etc. Creatively, I’m not quite sure how I want to execute this campaign but I’ll probably want to make a short film or PSA.

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Rewiring the Youth’s Consciousness + Project Pitch

A View from Egypt

The best aspect of the article on Digital Citizenship in Egypt was its discussion of generations. It is noted that a generation is a very diverse grouping, more so than other fairly broad ones like social class, and that they are capable of achieving “actuality” where they realized they have similar best interests and work towards those interests.

The youth of Egypt are a generation to keep an eye as far as making social change. Compared to the rest of the countries around them, more young Egyptians have access to computers and the internet and are computer literate. More people being able to access blogs, social media, and other types of media is crucial because it can lead to new ideas as well as discussion, and the people of Egypt have shown that they are especially adept at discussion. The article mentions a few young people who were active on chat rooms or social network sites and states that the majority of people in that demographic use the internet to access alternative sources of news on events. The youth of Egypt are using the internet to dodge the censorship that was and is still present in their country.

Several of the people who have access to the internet become activists forming blogs or Facebook pages such as the page of the We Are All Khaled Said group. This is a great step for the dissemination of information and mobilizing people but as evidenced by some of the stalemate on social justice issues it is not enough. The article mentions that about 58% of the youth in Egypt can access a computer and 52% of those can really use one. That means that only about 30% of the youth in Egypt have reliable access to this information. More effort needs to be put into giving access to the internet so that more of the youth can get involved in these movements. Some sort of computer literacy program, maybe not in the universities but maybe through some activist organization, could really help the cause.

A View from Egypt