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Web 2.0 and Me!

raise awareness, share knowledge and exchange experience

Web 2.0 is the measure against all the boundaries and restriction which the society imposed on women to distance and alienate them from the “public” sphere. Web 2.0 provides all women, regardless of their social, political and economic status, with a space to (re)define and (re)present their identity with which they feel most comfortable and content. Web 2.0 provides the opportunity for me to be “Me, Myself and Somaye”, the identity that I have consciously chosen.

The ability to raise awareness, share knowledge and exchange experience with “others” is the most important role that Web 2.0 can play in the global women’s empowerment movements. Knowing that ‘life’ can be different, knowing that ‘living’ can be different, knowing that our share of life and living can be different would spark and inspire the first steps in the passage towards change. The ability to pass on the message to the ones who are at the verge of determining their future, the ability to shed light on other options and possibilities available to anyone and everyone has been made possible through knowledge sharing. Through exchange of experiences the bitter sweetness of change can be explained and described to the ones terrified by the challenges and the obstacles of the passage towards change. The narrative and portrayal of the challenges on the road would give courage to the ones at the beginning of the road and would ensure them that, regardless of the difficulties, change is near.

There was a point that everything and anything that popped up on my screen was a piece of new information: I absorbed all the packages of the knowledge that were thrown at me from any source and background. However, I am not solely a consumer of information and content any more. I create content and spread information via the means that I have in my hands. I raise awareness about issues that matter to me such as the status of women or the violation of human rights in my country; I share what I have learned throughout my studies at different stages like tweeting about what I have learned in this course or starting a discussion on different groups on LinkedIn. I look for experiences of others to situate myself and my knowledge in different contexts by reading others’ blogs on different websites. Now, I have the means to evaluate the accuracy of the information I receive. I definitely no longer play solely the role of consumer in this era of Digital Media.



JaniceW's picture

Me, Myself and Somaye

You express yourself so eloquently. I sense a heightened sense of awareness of your self and look forward to reading more from you. I wonder at what point you became a contributor rather than a consumer. I have no doubt it was at that moment the windows to the world blew open and you were beckoned to step beyond your community to participate and not just observe. I have a feeling that you will provoke our thinking and challenge our ideas. It's a joy to have you in this community.

Somaye Dehban's picture

Hi Janice thanks for your

Hi Janice
thanks for your very kind message, I really appreciate it.

to answer your question, I guess the moment that I am referring to in this post is when I "consciously" decided to become contributor rather than just a consumer. When I was younger, around 13-14, I wrote a lot, when I was 17-18 I made my own newspaper for school but at the time, I looked at it merely as a "thing" to do and not a conscious choice that I have to make and create something. Same goes with being rebellious at home :)
The "choice" came at a lot later stage when I was 25-26, then I indeed had to step beyond my community and also myself to get to know myself from scratch. And the first question I asked myself was: Is this my share?

How about you? do you have similar experiences?

JaniceW's picture

Similar experience?

In my late teens, I started volunteering as a way of helping others. However, it was not until much later when the moral reasoning behind my acts became the motivation. My actions were informed by what I considered to be the just thing to do, the need to bring balance into the world for the greater good.

I paused over your closing statement as it suggests that you have been judged by how you look or by what you wear. For this, I am deeply sorry as it is very obvious that you are not what we see on the surface but so much more. In this way the internet is liberating as we are having an engaging discussion of the mind without thought to appearances. We can relate from the heart, mind and soul, and get to know each other on those levels. It provides a safe place for our truths, our ideas and our visions.

Somaye Dehban's picture

thanks for your message, the

thanks for your message,
the last sentence below "---" is my signature which automatically appears at the end of all my posts and replies and I think I should remove it cos it looks as a statement! and indeed I have been judged before and maybe still but I really don't care about it :)

I look forward our future conversations...
all the best

Maya Norton's picture

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Hi Somaye,

Like Janice, I enjoyed your powerful, clear style and especially connected with your personal epiphany about moving from the realm of content consumption to creation.

I see you are from the Netherlands. A few months ago I had the opportunity to read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book entitled, "Nomad: A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations." Have you read it and/or are you familiar with her? She is an amazing woman and the book was excellent. (Reference:

Also, I clicked on your screenshot and am not familiar with using LinkedIn in the way you show (I was thinking it was Twitter and was looking for you username so as to connect). How do the forums there work, exactly?

Wishing you all the best,

~ Maya

Hello Maya
thanks for your kind message

I have not read her book but I am familiar with Ayaan, I actually wrote a paper for one of my courses about her.

LinkedIn is kind of like facebook but your contacts are your professional contacts. You have your profile where you can post updates on it but there are also different groups that you can join and then post comments there and/or start discussions (the term they use instead of forum is discussion), my account is a basic account which is for free :) but you can buy more advanced accounts which has more features. The screenshot is from the homepage of LinkedIn and since I have been posting on my profile a lot, the homepage was covered with my posts :P

I wish you all the best too
take care

Sharontina's picture

Good piece

Dear Somaye,

Great knowing you here on this wonderful platform, a wonderful family united in front of the screen.

Yours is thoughtprovoking. And i thank the digital media, web 2.0 for connecting you and me.

lets relate to the stories, reach the unreached with this powerful tool..

waiting for more.


Merlin Sharontina

Somaye Dehban's picture

Thank you...

Dear Sharontina
thanks for your comment.

I am glad to know you too
I am also looking forward reading more about you and from you

all the best

"Knowing that ‘life’ can be different, knowing that ‘living’ can be different, knowing that our share of life and living can be different would spark and inspire the first steps in the passage towards change ...Through exchange of experiences the bitter sweetness of change can be explained and described to the ones terrified by the challenges and the obstacles of the passage towards change. The narrative and portrayal of the challenges on the road would give courage to the ones at the beginning of the road and would ensure them that, regardless of the difficulties, change is near."

You have expressed my thoughts so perfectly.
It saddens me to see people repeating the same mistakes done by our ancestors.
Mothers trying to fight the fight against child molesters, wives struggling through domestic violence, teenagers fighting their insecurities through drugs, etc etc
I very strongly believe that sharing of experiences will show the individuals that, that rugged road has already been taken by someone else. through that someone else's lesson, the new victim can make the rugged road shorter and sweater...

My passion is promoting reading in our communities. I believe through reading, fiction biographies, magazines, etc etc people learn. In underdeveloped societies the reading culture is almost non-existent and that is what I fight for, strive for. Thank you for making my thought process easier.



Somaye Dehban's picture

Reading Culture, indeed!

my dear Aminah
thank you very much for your kind and supportive comment, I really appreciate it.
It is indeed through that we do not have to go through what our mothers have already. And that's what my mother taught me! and I am blessed for having her in my life.

You pointed out a very important point: The Reading Culture. I recall a newspaper article from couple of years ago, that in my home-country every individual on average spends only 2 minutes per YEAR on reading!! 2 minutes per year! This is unbelievable. I do not know what is the status now, I guess it has improved specially after the 2009 election, but it shows a big gap.

my partner and I have already started reading for our little 10 months old son. It needs to become a habit :)

thanks a lot again
you are very helpful

all the best

Veronique_S's picture

Dear Somaye, Thank you for

Dear Somaye,

Thank you for your composition and articulation of Web 2.0 and you. Ienjoyed it in totality, but I will point out a few impacting areas from it.

Understanding the role to which Web 2.0 plays in empowerment was captured in a profound manner, as it showed hope, and I quote “Knowing that ‘life’ can be different, knowing that ‘living’ can be different; knowing that our share of life and living can be different would spark and inspire the first steps in the passage towards change”.

I liked the latter part of paragraph 2, that change happens when information is shared. Web 2.0 provides the vehicle to which change can occur.

In paragraph 3, you personalize the message by imputing your role in web 2.0, which in my opinion bridge the gap and provide the medium by which change ultimately happens "With you"

I look forward to reading more!!


Dear Candace
thanks for your comment...

that's very true that change starts from ourselves, I believe it is absurd and hypocritical to promote something that we are not committed to ourselves. I cannot ask someone, anyone to take the first step and change, if I am living an unwanted life myself.

Change starts from within ourselves, from our thoughts, from our beliefs and eventually our behaviour.

I would be very happy to read your posts as well,
all the best

dreams with the moon's picture

female leadership

Dear Somaye,

Reading your lines I felt really touched by the beautiful way you described your personal journey of self-exploration and your heartfelt sense of community. It is such an inspiring combination… Your sense of community seems to embody all the levels, personal, local and global. Big hearted, sister ☺.
You wrote that you share what you learn, even the knowledge that you gather in your studies and in your words I hear gratitude for what you receive and generosity to pass that on. And I think THAT is exactly the spirit, which the world needs, which facilitates change and which might be part of “female leadership” that we are exploring more and more. Thank you for your wise words and the spark you bring to Web 2.0!


Somaye Dehban's picture

thank you...

Dear Jana
thanks for your very kind and supportive comment.

I am glad that my massage was passed on completely and my journey was felt through the lines.
I appreciate you reading my post and commenting on it.

I believe sharing is the real power since when we share we are expanding ourselves to the community we believe in, and we leave a trace of ourselves, and that's what would support us when we are in need.

I look forward reading more of your comments

all the best

Riya's picture

Dear Somaye, It is good to

Dear Somaye,

It is good to see people share their education. I like how you explained your transition from consumer to contributor with the help of web 2.0. It is a great way to raise awareness about what's going on your own country and around the world.

Thank you very much for sharing your post with us. I look forward to reading more from you.


Dear Riya
thanks for commenting on my post.

indeed web 2.0 is a unique way to raise awareness and be aware of the whereabouts of the world.
while reading comments of yours and others I realized that the transition and the self-realizations are two sides of a coin, and in passing between the two sides we find our ways...they are inter-linked.

I will post more soon and I hope to read your comments about it as well

all the best

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