Demonstrations of Change
The Arab Spring, which began in December 2010, confirmed the power of Web 2.0. I remember watching the news about Tunisia, the country where the revolutions began. Inspired by the success of the Tunisians, revolts spread across North Africa and the Middle East, some successful, some still ongoing.
From the comfort of my home, I watched in awe as millions of brave people in Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Jordan and several other countries risked their lives and went to the streets to demand their rights, and to demand change. I watched with wet eyes as Palestinian refugees defied soldiers and borders and crossed into a land they long to set foot on. It warmed my heart to see women and men standing together chanting the same tune, as they aspired towards futures filled with hope. And although I feared for the safety of the children who attended the demonstrations, I know that even if they could not quite grasp what was happening, they would later realize that they had witnessed history, and the images would live forever in their minds.
What I found to be utterly amazing was that millions of people around the world were informed of the demonstrations by social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Sites such as these became a threat to governments, and in some countries the sites or internet was closed down.
I have always believed in the power of the internet. It provides an endless amount of knowledge, and it makes the world a smaller place by bringing people who are thousands of miles apart together in an instant.
Being part of the World Pulse family for about a year has given me the opportunity to read about the lives, problems and concerns of women all over the world as events happen. I have learned so much, and my eyes have been opened to heart-aching subjects and to uplifting stories.
Everyone has a story to tell, and Web 2.0 gives people the opportunity to “talk”, share, inform, and at times seek answers for problems. I believe there is a solution to every problem. Who knows who might be “listening” -- someone in some country far away may hear your cry and offer a solution or a different perspective.
Web 2.0 has been a gift for me. Through blogs and other articles, I can tell stories that are close to my heart. As a freelance writer, I have met some amazing people, many of them strong women determined to make a change. Many are unknown outside their communities, and it is my pleasure to let the world hear their voices. I like to think of myself as a string between them and you.
The Arab uprisings have not stopped. I believe that if revolutions can be started through the use of Web 2.0, then why can’t women find their voices in the same way? Decade old regimes were toppled, and borders were crossed. Knowledge is power, and armed with both, women can cross borders and topple misconceptions, inequality, and injustice. We can make our own demonstrations of change.