The Role of New and Social Media in Managing Crisis in Lebanon post-2019

26.04.2021, Seminar, online

Online Seminar on The Role of New and Social Media in Managing Crisis in Lebanon post-2019

Event of the OI Beirut: Monday, 26 April 2021, 08.00 PM-11.00 PM


An online seminar on The Role of New and Social Media in Managing Crisis in Lebanon post-2019 will be held on 26 April 2021, at 8 pm (by invitation only). For further information, please consult the moderator of the event, Ms. Chloé Kattar: ck511(at)cam.ac.uk.

Since October 2019, Lebanon has faced an unprecedented wave of protests, a multifaceted social and economic crisis, the explosion of the Beirut Port and the Covid-19 pandemic. Social media has played an increasing central role in disseminating information, raising awareness and mobilizing support and aid in times of crisis. The Lebanese uprising, dubbed Thawra, was described (along other depictions) as a digital phenomenon as a way to signify the role played by social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This led to a surge in independent media outlets that aimed to portray the events through an unbiased perspective. The August 4th explosion also caused intense transnational mobilization within the diaspora, which used social media to organize and advertise relief efforts. Day to day charity is also happening online thanks to new accounts of volunteers specializing in various types of relief (mental health support, food security, medication shortage, etc.).

In this webinar, discussants from three Lebanese organizations which have quickly emerged as pioneers of new and social media in Lebanon in the post-2019 period will reflect on these issues and on their own experiences. The three organizations are: 

•    Daleel Thawra – the directory of the Lebanese revolution – has centralized information, events and initiatives on its platforms since 17 October 2019, becoming a multipurpose reliable source for protest scheduling, meeting points, discussions, fundraising opportunities, helpful resources and denunciation of abuse. (Also adjacent initiative Daleel Mawaheb which connects job seekers with available opportunities)
•    Megaphone – independent online media platform – has become the key non-sectarian alternative to mainstream media. It aims to demystify Lebanese politics and has amplified the voice to the Lebanese uprising. It offers an independent view on daily politics in English and Arabic, investigation and explanatory videos as well as in-depth articles. 
•    Impact Lebanon  – Global initiative hub for driven Lebanese – non-profit organization that makes activism and volunteering accessible for the Lebanese diaspora. They have launched initiatives centered on electoral awareness and have fundraised millions following the Beirut port explosion by cooperating with local NGOs. 
 
Moderator:

Chloé Kattar is a visiting doctoral fellow at the Orient-Institut Beirut. She is a final year PhD student near completion at the University of Cambridge working on the revival of intellectual conservatism in Wartime Lebanon (1975-1982).
 
Discussants:
 
Sadir Abdul Hadi is one of the co-founders of Impact Lebanon, focusing mostly on organizing political, economic, and social debates under the initiative "Wijhet Nazar". He studied Computer Science at University College London, and currently works as a consultant in Mergers & Acquisitions based in London.
 
Bana Abouricheh was born in Beirut Lebanon and received her Bachelor’s degree in History from the American University of Beirut. She later moved to New York and received her Master’s degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Interactive Telecommunication and New Media design. With the onset of the 2006 war in Lebanon with Israel, Bana co-created and launched in NYC the guerilla sticker graffiti campaign that went viral worldwide; ’I LOVE BEIRUT’. In 2009 she moved back to Beirut and co-founded Apractice design studio which presented the new and novel idea to the Lebanese design world of integrating technology and interactive computational media within architectural design projects. Today Bana continues to be an activist and is a co-founder of Daleel Thawra.
 
Jean Kassir is the co-founder and general manager of Megaphone, a Beirut-based independent media platform. Besides his work at Megaphone, Jean has previously worked at Amnesty International focusing on Individuals at Risk in the MENA region, and at the Carnegie Middle East Center focusing on Syrian refugees' rights in Lebanon and Jordan, and contentious politics in the MENA region. He holds a master in comparative politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.