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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.

Comments

Jasmine Linabary's picture

Power of Web 2.0

Dear noreens,

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this with the PulseWire community. You make a strong statement for the power of Web 2.0 tools. Your ending is particularly impactful. I love your line "Knowledge is power, and armed with both, women can cross borders and topple misconceptions, inequality, and injustice."

Keep writing about these issues. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

In friendship,
Jasmine

noreens's picture

Hi Jasmine, I'm glad that you

Hi Jasmine,

I'm glad that you liked it! Nice words always give me encouragement to keep writing. Thanks!!

Noreen

kati.mayfield's picture

Demonstrations of Change

Dear noreens,

I had a similar reaction of awe and inspiration watching the way people used the internet and social media to coordinate revolutions, and the way that many citizen journalists were born by reporting on what they saw happening in their communities as a result of the uprisings.

One thing I am curious about is all of the mis-communication that occurred during these events and is characteristic of the information we find on the internet. To me it seems important to ensure that such a powerful tool like Web 2.0 stays real, objective, and relevant to the hundreds of millions of people who rely on it for their information and their voice. How do you think we, the citizen journalists of the World Pulse community, can do this?

I look forward to your thoughts and to reading more of your entries.

Sincerely,

Kati

*resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything*

noreens's picture

Hi Kati, Thanks for reading

Hi Kati,

Thanks for reading my article! You asked a good question. Although the internet is great, it is something that also can be abused. I think that a writer, whether he/she is a journalist by profession or a citizen journalist, must use the internet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter or whatever, with a sense of responsibility. Of course the writer can use his personal opinions or experiences to write a story, and I think that should be stated (maybe written in the first person) because sometime it is hard to be objective. I think it's always good to use credible sources when stating facts -- but that depends on the subject being written about. Pictures are a great addition to a story because they rarely lie. Readers also should use their common sense - not everything printed is correct!

Did I answer your question?!! I took a look at your profile........your job seems interesting! I am looking forward to reading your articles!

Noreen

kati.mayfield's picture

thanks!

Hi Noreen,

Yes, you did answer my question. For those of us who do not have as much experience with formal journalism and the ethics associated with it, it's really helpful to have these tips from you. I really like the idea of pictures, and of course of always stating your sources.

I am very happy to be following your posts now!

-Kati

*resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything*

jackiesw's picture

Dear Noreens

I found your article to be clear, positive and inspiring. Your observations, views and subsequent writing about others' lives will help inform the world of problems and solutions we may not otherwise know or understand. I especially liked your description of how you see yourself and your role in this global dialogue.

I look forward to reading more.

Jackie

noreens's picture

Hi Jackie, Thanks for reading

Hi Jackie,

Thanks for reading my article and for commenting on it. There are so many articles coming in to PulseWire on a daily basis, and it's hard to keep up with all of them. I'm happy you took the time to read mine!

Noreen

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