A Human Rights Pulse.
The story of how I came to learn about WorldPulse can be summarized in a single word, Twitter. Yes, a Web 2.0 platform.
I learned about WorldPulse accidentally, when, browsing my timeline one day, noticed that a user that I followed retweeted a tweet about WorldPulse that invited everyone to click on the link and take a look at what is being offered. I read WorldPulse’s mission statement and decided to join instantly.
As I mentioned in my previous post, after my undergraduate years, I pursued a degree in human rights, and obtained a Master’s Degree in international human rights law from the American University in Cairo exactly three months ago. Coming from a country in which the track record of respect for human rights was less than promising, making the seemingly simple decision of choosing to pursue a human rights degree was a very difficult one. I was surrounded by cynics who believe that human rights are a lofty, unattainable ideal; that it is not worthwhile to “waste” one’s time studying laws that would never materialize in our society. Not only were there cynics to bring me down, but also understandable worries from family and close friends, given the Egyptian state’s many terrifying acts of vengeance taken against human rights activists.
I decided to pursue a degree and a career in human rights, nonetheless, motivated by other factors. The awareness of human rights violations that started to take place in Egypt with the rise of citizen journalism, mainly blogs, brought on a new environment in the country, one in which ordinary people started talking about the new concept of ‘rights.’ The new-fangled interest tickled down to the media and, for the first time, Egyptians watched as talk shows hosted human rights activists and international legal experts to weigh in on the violations committed by the Egyptian state.
I now work in a human rights organization, and constantly have to answer questions such as “so what does a human rights organization really do?” “What do they accomplish?” or “why do we need human rights in our lives?” From answering such questions, I realized that many people simply do not have the knowledge of what human rights is, why they matter, how they changed the world. I also found out that, when they find an answer to their questions, they become instant believers in the human rights cause. After such interactions, I always ask myself, what if I can spread this knowledge? What if I can reach average Egyptians and educate them about rights?
It was at this juncture that I stumbled upon WorldPulse, finally finding a platform that could offer me the opportunity to solidify the understanding of human rights in a country in which such an understanding is lacking. I was enthralled by this platform that was created by a journalist for this reason exactly, namely that the “most important stories are rarely mentioned in the mass media.”