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I want you to read this beautiful story.

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and that’s not because it is so short and yet very promising of changing your life forever; something a religious figure would usually tell you. But because this text is a beautiful manifestation of the storytelling art with social change impact. This story is a healthy example of what we lack in our daily neutron media dish. Please explore the beautiful human inside us.The first body of story appeared  on Monday, December 7, 2015 at 12:13pm by Agata Szymanowicz on her Facebook account:

Please, please share this post and help me find this family!

They are from Damascus, Syria. They were once incredibly kind and generous to me and now, when their country is being torn apart, I hope I can pay it back.

In 1999 during my holiday travels through Syria I lost all my money, credit cards and passport and found myself stranded, alone and scared.
This family took me, a complete stranger, into their home. They not only gave me food and shelter but also treated as a dear guest and made me feel really safe and welcome. They showed me their city and introduced me to their friends. In many long, fascinating conversations they introduced me to their religion and culture. It proved to be a life-changing experience and resulted in my life-long interest in Middle East and Islam.
But even more long-lasting has been my sense of gratitude. And knowing that there are kind and caring people like this out there has always somehow made me feel safer in our turbulent world.

Now, with all that is happening in Syria, these lovely people may need my help. I have long ago lost contact with them (it’s a long story of lost or locked email accounts) and these photographs are the only link I have.

They were taken in 1999 in Damascus. The young man’s name is Fadi. He was a medical student back then and would now be in his late thirties. His sister’s name is Rala (although I am not 100% sure). She was studying architecture back then. She would now be in her mid-thirties. They also had a little brother, about 7 years old (so now in his twenties). The woman on the photograph is their mum. Their dad, on the second photograph, was a medical doctor. (The scruffy blonde is me so ignore :-))

Please share this post as widely as possible. Maybe someone will recognise them and put us back in touch.

(My email address, just in case: agata.anna@gmail.com)

Thank you!

On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 1:22am and because the post was shared 1455 times (last checked Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 11:20am)   Agata found the family. :)

Thank you so much to all of you who have shared my post. I have just found the family I was looking for! I am still awaiting a message from them but I have been told that they are safe and sound. Can I just say – the amount of help and good will I have experienced in the last couple of days has been amazing and truly touching. Thank you so much to every one of you who shared my post, messaged me and made an effort to help me find these lovely people.

It is NOT really a small world. It is a big heart, It is a beautiful will. Although the original post was only liked by 15 people and enjoyed 11 comments but people SHARED it. Agatha has (381) friends on Facebook, the call for action worked and the 1466 shares helped spread the word. Some would attribute this to the power of special networks, I would definitely give some credit to Facebook but that is just part of the story. Should not Agata in the first place had the will and the compassion this story would not have seen the “digital” light in the first place nor have been rendered into a reality under the sun latter. This story SHOWS the power of discourse, and the interchangeable relation between text, image, and the medium. But more importantly, this story shows the potentials of Human-Driven Media.

 

Bref, FN Wins . . . France Loses.

 

Notre Dame De Paris

With the unprecedented success of the French extreme-right party Front national (FN) in the first round of the regional elections, few points worth noting.

1- First, the results show CLEARLY that the majority of French citizens do ACTUALLY support FN program.
 
2- Secondly, this is to say somehow that at least 2 out of the 3 French republic’s values have been destroyed, or at least facing serious troubles/challenges, namely: égalité and fraternité.
 
3- The third value; Liberté, is in great doubt if it is still holding true. Under the tighten measurements imposed by the french government both freedoms of expression and access to information are in serious danger.
 
4- In the sense of the above, how a question of importance is: How much the immune system of France is capable anymore to defend French citizens lives and more importantly sense of life!
 
Not only the most genuine values of the French culture are being under threat by the French themselves this time when voting extreme, but also this is a clear manifestation of how the French society is getting closed on itself. This is not only economically threatening but it is a cultural-self-suicide.
 
Those voting extreme are not only abandoning all the French humanitarians contribution since world war two, they are indeed throwing in the name of fear the French culture. Apparently, if 9/11 had enabled Bush to occupy Iraq, the 2015 terrorists attacks in France had enabled FN to occupy France. 
Great job FN! You made unprecedented success, however, the only problem is that with those who voted for you. They had chosen to throw out the champagne with the cork! They threw the baby out with the bathwater! 

France and terrorism | Article Three: An Eyewitness Testimony.

You are a victim of your own mind

French authorities provided hot lines for citizens to give information about last night terror attacks. I have some information, so I thought i should be sharing my testimony here.

I was there. very close. close enough that i can not believe i am still safe and writing these words here now. I witnessed everything, and I know who the terrorists are and where they hide.

But I am afraid. I am afraid that no one will believe. I do understand that people have their reasons not to believe but I do also think it is my duty to contribute as an eyewitness my words. Here they are.

We were few in that street, just two hours before the attacks take place. We were enjoying life, like any free human being on this earth. It looks like they got angry! They approached us and with cold hearts they started to shoot on the air, we were afraid but we did not run away and that is when they started to shoot on us. I will not say there were tanks because that will looks like big exaggeration. Amongst us was a journalist and he was killed. A film directing young student was killed too. We did not know what to do, we were so shocked, but we managed to take the first route, and hide somewhere. One of us was so paralyzed that he could not move, they caught them, pulled their head to the floor forced some of them to pray for their god, and stepped on some others, while asking the rest why they were celebrating freedom and calling them and their sisters bitches!. They followed us, they knew we saw them, one of us is a computer geek, another one is a caricature artist, and a third one was a cute priest. They searched the area, they caught the caricature artists first and they broke his fingers, they ambuscaded the computer expert and took them to the middle of nowhere. The priest was the most courageous amongst us, he went out, walked steady with full confidence to them and stretched his hand as a sign of peace and warm greeting. They hit him and he disappeared suddenly, I could not see him anymore. They started shooting madly, they bombed the area from the sky. They destroyed the neighborhood. The area and the people were scattered into tiny pieces. They used chemical weapons, and they kept doing that for 4 and half years. when they were told this is a violation of human rights, they said the United Nations is not credible. In fact they said they will forget that Europe exists on the map, and threatened to bomb Europe giving detailed information here. Eventually, facing all this terror and madness, some of us escaped.

Ok I told you where the criminals are. Here is the paragraph again but this time with proxies, names, and plenty of useful information to catch the terrorists.

We were few in that street, just two hours before the attacks took place. We were enjoying life, like any free human being on this earth. It looks like they got angry! They approached us and with cold hearts they started to shoot on the air, we were afraid but we did not run away and that is when they started to shoot on us. I will not say there were tanks because that will looks like big exaggeration. Amongst us was a journalist and he was killed. A film directing young student was killed too. We did not know what to do, we were so shocked, but we managed to take the first route, and hide somewhere. One of us was so paralyzed that he could not move, they caught them, pulled their head to the floor forced some of them to pray for their god, and stepped on some others, while asking the rest why they were celebrating freedom and calling them and their sisters bitches!. They followed us, they knew we saw them, one of us is a computer geek, another one is a caricature artist, and a third one was a cute priest. They searched the area, they caught the caricature artists first and they broke his fingers, they ambuscaded the computer expert and took them to the middle of nowhere. The priest was the most courageous amongst us, he went out, walked steady with full confidence to them and stretched his hand as a sign of peace and warm greeting. They hit him and he disappeared suddenly, I could not see him anymore. They started shooting madly, they bombed the area from the sky. They destroyed the neighborhood. The area and the people were scattered into tiny pieces. They used chemical weapons, and they kept doing that for 4 and half years. when they were told this is a violation of human rights, they said the United Nations is not credible. In fact they said they will forget that Europe exists on the map, and threatened to bomb Europe giving detailed information here. Eventually, facing all this terror and madness, some of us escaped.

France and terrorism | Article One: 23 lines.

Flowers in hand near the Rue de Charonne in Paris. Courtesy AFP

Flowers in hand near the Rue de Charonne in Paris. Courtesy AFP

Dear already shocked reader,

We need to come together. Not only as a compassionate act, nor to fight terrorism , but to understand why this happened, happening and possibly sadly can happen again!

Let us agree about the following 23 lines as a start. Otherwise, you will not find any of the coming posts of much value.

1- What happened in France is a large scale terrorism attack.

2- Condemning the attacks is important.

3- Condemning the attacks is not enough.

4- Any one can condemn the attacks, even terrorists themselves.

5- The speed of response to the attacks is indicative, but more importantly the quality of the response.

6- The pain of people should not be commercialized nor politicized.

7- French are not one person and talking to them, about them, with them, should not be like talking to one person.

8- Muslims are not one person and talking to them, about them, with them, should not be like talking to one person.

9- Terror resistance policies seems to be arguably insufficient. And there are solutions for that.

10- Social media activism is important.

11- Many of Muslims are mentally terrorists.

12 – Many of French are mentally colonizers.

13- Unfortunately, most of the time we search media to confirm our beliefs and not to search facts.

14- Unfortunately, most of the big media institutions’ agendas are economically and politically manipulated.

15- The mother of the terrorist is not a terrorist and relatively equally is not his father too.

16- Nothing on this earth, nor in books, bible, quran, or toilet paper, would tell a person to kill an innocent person.

17- Killing one innocent person is a killing for all humans on this earth.

18 – As long as there are dictators in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Qatar and other states there will be terror attacks.

19- Moderate Muslims need support to fight Radical ones.

20- Language itself is a source of terror.

21- So many Muslims are keeping silence/d in such big human events, and this is really dangerous.

22- If immigrants have no problem taking the boats and going back home tomorrow, what will be the next step?

23- I do not care about all this 22 previous shits. I want to enjoy my dinner, concert, football match, love. I want to live my life full, and I am willing to do anything to make this happen.

If you agree, partially at least, with the above 23 lines then you may find the coming series of posts somehow helpful to minimize the probability of a next terrorists attack.

Click subscribe to read the coming related posts.

Peace,

b

Disappearing messages from Facebook

Self destructing messages is now better promoted by Facebook as disappearing messages as not to convey a negative sentiments to the new feature branding. The latest feature from Facebook is rolled out for massive experimentation. Enabled for users in France two days ago, the feature allow Facebook messenger users to send messages the vanish after one hour. Naturally, users friends will be able to activate the new feature once it has been used by their friends.

The feature was first was run on france as French users proved to be one of the most conservative ones when it comes to sharing information on Facebook. This -basically psychological- feature gives the impression that information are not stored in Facebook databases. No one said so though!.

We Chat, Wickr, Gryphn, Line, Cyber Dust, Tiiny, Confide, Sobrr, Frankly, are some of the Apps had allowed in the past years similar features pursuing SnapChat (created in 2011) major selling emotional function. In fact, Apps that send disappearing messages have been gaining in popularity since 2013. Technically speaking the encrypting work is concerned with prohibiting users from saving and/or forwarding messages and in some cases even taking a screen shots.

From a communication perspective, the notion behind such feature design is the context matters concept. This is what these Apps and Facebook new feature seems to be considering.  This ephemeral messaging trend is creating an ecosystem of apps built on the notion that text-based communication is best when it’s temporary, just like the verbal. As put by one of these apps introduction about itself “Communicate digitally with the same level of privacy and security as the spoken word.”.

At least for my generation we can now test Mission impossible and Inspector Gadget tools online.

الاستغراب ؟

 والاستشراق يا سيدي متعدد الحلل والأزياء والألوان. اكتر المرات يأتي على شكل باحثين مهتمين بشؤون المنطقة وشؤوننا بالمعية. لكن أحيان كثيرة يأتي ع شكل صحفي، ودكتور، ومواطن، واستاذ، وعامل انساني، وقاطع طريق. 

“الزائرون” كلمة مناسبة جداً لنمارس دور بنقد وفهم ونقاش المجتمعات الأخرى ولماذا أنتجت أصلا هذه الحالة الاستشراقية. المصطلح الذي طرحه ادوارد سعيد كان حول الاستغراب مقابل “الاستشراق”. مصطلح يحمل نواقصه رغم جوهره الفذ. كأن جاء طرحه رد فعل على المُنتج الآخر أصلاً. و الاستغراب اصلاً يحمل معنى الدهشة؛ على الأقل بحسب المعنى الشائع. ناهيك عن أنه يكرس الاستقطاب الذي ينتجه مصطلح “الاستشراق” أصلاً. 

يعني بحث الاستشراق ومعاهده وأبحاثه وتمويله العملاق من دون وجود مشاركة مفتوحة المصدر مع المجتمعات المبحوثة هو بحد ذاتو “نهب ثقافي استعماري”: عندي شرح مفصل كيف ولماذا لكن ليس هنا محله. 

المهم ، المجتمعات الغربية بحاجة لنبش بعين مشرقية. والمشرقي لا يمكنه التعرف على هويته (المُستعمَرَة في أغلبها أصلاً) مالم يبحث في العملية الانتاجية التي أسهمت وتسهم في انتاج هذه الهوية .