Egyptian web users launch an online campaign to end sexual harassment. Jordanian bloggers debating the reforms promised by King Abdullah II. Wikileaks auctions a lunch date with founder Julian Assange.
Egyptians fight sexual harassment with online campaign
« Blogs and tweets against sexual harassment ». On Monday Egyptian cyber activists launched an online campaign to end sexual harassment, a problem faced by women across the country on a daily basis.
The site ‘Harass Map’, which was set up in December, is behind this initiative. Victims can report instances of sexual harassment, via SMS or the Internet, which are then mapped on the interactive platform. The aim is to raise awareness of the extent of the problem. Many Twitter users, both men and women, have joined the debate surrounding this societal problem. Hadear Kandil tweets that the way you dress makes no difference, and she has been harassed both with and without her veil. Blogger Nora Shalaby points the finger at police officers and says they are the worst offenders when it comes to sexual harassment.
Others, like Mosa’ab Elshamy, are calling for harsher punishment for this form of harassment. Activists from Lebanon, where there is a similar problem, have also joined the campaign. This blog hosts accounts from victims and is broadcasting a video aimed at raising awareness of the problem amongst local web users.
An animated series called « The adventures of Salwa » was launched last year. And it uses humour to deal with the problem of sexual harassment, whether it is in the street, at work or on public transport.
Jordan bloggers skeptical despite reform promise
Jordan had been relatively spared from the popular uprisings that shook a number of Arab countries, but the winds of change appear to have reached the kingdom after all. On the 13th of June, King Abdullah II of Jordan promised to make changes to the political system, saying he wanted to move towards an elected government, and the restructuring of existing parties. On the web site "Notes from a Medina", Chris Keller is wondering if the King is capable of imposing such change in the Jordanian system; the blogger thinks the country has been corrupted by the political parties vote-catching and it is likely they will oppose any institutional reform.
Nasser Tarawnah is equally pessimistic and has written on his blog Black Iris, that although the King’s speech carries hope, these types of promises have been made in the past. He thinks change must emanate from civil society and not be dependent on the King.
Web users have been campaigning on social networks for several months now, and have launched a peaceful movement to bring about reforms in Jordan. They want to set up a space where web users can exchange ideas and discuss the limitations of the current political system, as well as promote political reforms to combat corruption in particular and limit the King’s authority.
A lunch with Julian Assange
To help raise funds for running its web site, Wikileaks is auctioning off a lunch with its founder Julian Assange who has been living in London under house arrest. Several places for this meal in one of the British capital’s finest restaurants were put up for sale on eBay last week, bringing in over 25 000 dollars for Wikileaks.
The lunch will take place on the 2nd July and be followed by a public debate between Julian Assange and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, on the impact Wikileaks has made on the world.
There has been much speculation ever since the author of the Harry Potter saga, JK Rowling launched a mysterious new website, with the promise of an announcement on the 23rd of June. For the moment the welcome page of “Pottermore” contains just a couple of owls and the words “coming soon” in the author’s handwriting. When you click on one of the birds, you are redirected to a video which offers no further clues on the upcoming announcement. A Twitter account has been set up for the occasion and has already drawn over 70 000 Harry Potter fans desperate for further updates.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
This video was made by Canadian web user Nick Saik, who attached a small wide angle camera to his sister Laura’s hula hoop … and the video can make you feel very dizzy.