“Phones in the Field- Bringing the Arab Spring to Minnesota” by Ibrahim Al-Hajiby, Intern

One of my responsibilities as an intern with the Nobel Peace Prize Forum was to be a part of the planning committee for Global Day. I still remember five months ago when I proposed the idea of “Phones in the Field” to the Global Day planning committee. I spent the night prior to the committee meeting speculating about the types of workshops that will excite and attract young minds such as mine; I could not help but think about social media and its impact on the Arab revolutions.

Social media has played a tremendous role in mobilizing young men and women not only in the Arab world, but also around the globe. Facebook and Twitter have progressed from being a mere personal communication platform into a forum to spread inspiring ideas that are beyond imaginable.

I decided to organize a workshop that will explore the relationship between technology (social media) and youth mobilization during the Arab Spring. During the Yemeni revolution, I was always able to follow up with my friends in the Democratic Coalition for Development and other movements via Facebook. Thanks to Facebook, I was even able to participate in organizing protests that took place in Sana’a, Yemen while sitting at my desk thousands of miles away in my college campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

Last year, I was fortunate to meet three young Egyptian activists (Alaa, Nada, and Noor) who spoke about their experiences using Social Media in mobilizing the Egyptian revolution. I connected with Alaa, Nada, and other activists in Yemen and Tunisia to share my thoughts and passions for this workshop. It was amazing for me to see how connected these young men and women are; Nada who is a prominent youth activist in Egypt was connected to activists and movements in Yemen, Tunisia, and Libya.

It was amazing for me to be able to utilize this network that was created by youth activism and movement. I was able to reach out to people beyond what I expected.

Phones in the Field will be featuring some of the most prominent Arab Spring activists via a Skype-enabled session. The session will also host local guests who remotely participated and are highly connected to the Arab revolutions and youth activism.

Bringing the Arab Spring to Minnesota, do not miss it.

Phones in the Field: Technology Fosters the Arab Spring
Sunday March 10, 2013 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Augsburg College: Christensen Center, Marshall Room

Ibrahim Al-Hajiby
Intern, Nobel Peace Prize Forum


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