Egyptian Initiatives Official Blog http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog Initiatives worth spreading. For a better Egypt Fri, 19 Feb 2010 16:22:30 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 A Word to the Youth – كلام للشباب http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/a-word-to-the-youth/ http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/a-word-to-the-youth/#comments Fri, 19 Feb 2010 02:21:45 +0000 Mohannad http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/?p=35

English Translation Below

أولاً اعذروني لو في غلطات إملائية أو نحوية فاللي أنا هكتبه ده. أنا هاتكلم بالمصري البسيط عشان كلامي يبقى واضح وصريح و أنا مش هافتي و أقول اني خبير في اللغة العربية .

أنا النهاردة كلامي موجه للشباب.. اشمعنى للشباب؟ عشان أي حد متابع مصر في الكام سنة إلي فاتو دول عارف كويس اني الشباب المصري بقى ليه صوت مسموع وبقى مهتم ببلده أكتر من أي وقت فات. خصوصاً الشباب المتعلم المثقف الواعي.

فبالتالي احساسي بيقول اني البلاتفورم بتاعنا ده هيسمع أكتر حاجة وسط الشباب..

دلوقتي في نقطتين عايز أغطيهم:

١. أول نقطة دي بخاطب فيها كل الشباب اللي بيحب بلده وعايز يعمل حاجة تفيد الناس وتفيد بلده. أول حاجة، بلاش نحاول نسيس (من السياسة) كل حاجة. يعني أنا مش بتكلم معك فالسياسة تماماً. جميع الدول النامية تعتمد بشكل كبير على المجهود الشعبي من جمعية أهلية أو غيره. اني الناس تبقة بتعمل مجهود ملموس في تحسين اوضاعهم. وتاني بقول أنا مش قصدي أي حاجة سياسية. أنا أقصد اني الناس تبقة بتشتغل مع بعد عشان تحل مشاكل زي التلوث أو الزبالة أو الجوع أو الفقر أو الزحمة أو تحرش الجنسي أو أي مشكلة من المشاكل صغيرة أو كبيرة طالما مرتبطة بسلوكيات أو حاجات احنا نقدر نغيرها بنفسنا في حياتنا اليومية. أنا عارف اني في شباب كتير عايز يعمل حاجة، عشان كدة أنا عايز الناس تسخن علفكرة. احنا له بنسخن بس لما نكسب ماتش كرة والله لما يبقى في مصيبة أو مظاهرة. الدنيا مش شعارات و أعلام وكلام في حب مصر على فيسبوك و خلاص. عايز تعمل حاجة مش كل حاجة سياسة وبتاع، إبدأ غير من نفسك وغير من اللي حواليك. أنا مش بكلم الرجالة بس طبعاً أنا أكيد بكلم البنات كمان. ساعدنا نعمل حاجة. ساعدنا نحقق اهدافنا ونحسن الحياه في مصر، ساعدنا ننشر الفكرة!

٢. النقطة التانية بقى عايز أتكلم فيها مع الشباب القادة. مش قصدي قادة في حزب ولا جمعية ولا الكلام ده كله لأ . أنا قصدي الناس اللي لم تبقى قاعدة مع اصحابها عالقهوة وبتحكلهم حاجة، الناس بتعد تسمع، أنا قصدي عالناس اللي وسط أصحابهم ومعارفهم صوتهم مسموع ورأيهم مهم. لو مقتنعين بالكلام اللي أنا بقوله ومقتنعين باللي احنا بنحاول نعمله هنا، عايزكو تكلمو الناس عن الموقع وتكلمو الناس عن الفكرة وتقنعوهم يتحركو ويعملو حاجة مفيدة في مجتمعهم. خش على فيسبوك واعمل بوست لوصلة للموقع. لو فعلاً فعلاً بتحب بلدك ومقتنع باللي بنقوله، يبقى ساعدنا وعمل اللي تقدر عليه، وصدقوني اللي تقدرو عليه مش قليل خالص! متستقلش بقوة ال-network بتاعك ومتستقلش بقوة كلمتك!

يا رب محدش يفهم بس كلامي غلط ويقلبه كلام سياسي وبتاع.. صدقوني مش محتاجين سياسة عشان نحسن من نفسنا.أنا بس حبيت أأكد علنقطة دي عشان أنا عارف اني مبدأ التغيير لازم هيخلي الناس تفكر فالسياسة، وحنا في اللي احنا بنحاول نعمل هنا السياسة حتضر مش هتفيد.


Today I want to say a few words to the youth of Egypt! Why to the youth? Because anyone who has been watching the development of Egypt in the last few years knows that the voice of the Egyptian youth resonates through the country, and the youth care more than ever about the improvement of conditions in this country, they want to instigate change. Especially the well educated youth community of Egypt. So accordingly, I have the feeling that this platform and the concept behind it would form an audience of mostly young passionate individuals who will be the main supporters of what we’re trying to do.

So now there are two points I want to address:

1. First I would like to address all the young individuals who are passionate about change and feel the urge to do something good, something right, and something beneficial for their country and their society. First of all, lets not try to politicize everything. I am not talking about politics at all. Not now not ever. All developing countries are working on improving their conditions through the efforts of the people. Through the efforts of NGOs, through the efforts of social initiatives, through the efforts of Social Entrepreneurs. In 3 words: Through Social Engagement! YOU don’t need political reforms to work on problems like pollution, garbage, hunger, poverty, traffic, sexual harassment, or any other problem whether big or small as long as it is directly tied to the behavior of the Society, the behavior of the people. As long as it is related to things we can work on changing or improving in our daily lives. I know many young men and women out there want to cause a change, want to do good. And that is why I am calling out on the Egyptian Youth to start getting fired up about this concept and this platform. Why do we only get fired up when we win a football match, or when there is a major crisis or a public demonstration? It is not just about false patriotic statements on facebook and carrying around the Egyptian flag. Action is required and it can’t be possible that all the actions we try to take are always political! Start with yourself, change yourself, help those around you change, help improve your own small community. Help us do something big, help us improve the situation in Egypt, help us spread the word!

2. Secondly I would like to talk to the leaders of the youth community in Egypt. And I don’t mean the leaders of an organization, or a club, or a party. I am talking about those individuals who when sitting with friends in a cafe and they start telling a story, their friends stop and listen. I am talking to those individuals who know their word is heard and their opinion is valued among their peers and among the people who know them. If you believe in our cause, if you believe in our mission, if you believe in the potential, then please tell people about it! Talk to them! Push them to participate, push them to tell others, push them to take action! Post a link to your facebook profile, invite the people to the fan page. If you know people listen to you, then we ask you to be the leader you are and play your role as one in getting the word out. Never underestimate the power of your personal network, and NEVER underestimate the power of your word!

Finally I would like to repeat, I hope no body takes my words out of context and turns this into a political thing. I just keep stressing that because I know the concept of change is bound to stir up some political discussions or at the very least some political notions. And in our case and what we’re trying to do, politics will hurt our cause more than it would help.

]]>
http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/a-word-to-the-youth/feed/ 0
Some Important Updates – بعض التحديثات المهمة http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/some-important-updates/ http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/some-important-updates/#comments Wed, 17 Feb 2010 22:21:23 +0000 Mohannad http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/?p=29

English Translation Below

أهلا يا مصريين،

فى هذه المقالة أحب ان اطلعكم على بعض من التحديثات التي تمت خلال الأيام الماضية ، خصوصا ما له علاقة بما وراء الكواليس.

أولا:


نقوم حاليا بالانتقال من مجموعة على الفيس بوك Facebook Group الى صفحة إعجاب Facebook Fan Page . و كما قد لاحظتوا فى مقالتى السابقة عن منهج هذا المنبر , فانه يُوجّه

الدعم الان بشكل كبير جدا على مستوى الاعلام الاجتماعى. و لهذا فإن صفحة معجبى الفكرة على فيس بوك تعطى لنا مجموعة من الأدوات و الخصائص التى لا تقدمها المجموعات على الفيس بوك. و فى المستقبل القريب سوف تتيح لنا – تلك الادوات و الخصائص – الوصول الى اعداد اكبر من المشاركين.

و إننى أدعوكم الى الإنضمام لصفحة معجبى مبادرات مصرية (من هنا) و أدعوكم لدعوة أصدقائكم. يمكنكم الاستفادة بخاصية جيدة لدعوة كل اصدقائكم مرة واحدة … سوف تجدونها على صفحة facebook page.

و لا نتسوا اننا لن نعد نستطيع ارسال رسائل لكل الاعضاء على بريد الرسائل inbox و لكن من الناحية التقنية سوف تصلكم رسائلنا على “التحديثات” updates section تحت مسمّى “رسائل” messages. و لهذا فارجو منكم الزيارة بشكل دائم.

ثانيا :

للأسف ، هناك من لديه الشعور بأن هذا المنبر لفئة منتقاه من المجتمع المصريفقط أو لفئة المتحدثين بالإنجليزية فقط. و هذا بالطبع ليس صحيحا فنحن نحاول الوصول الى أكبر عدد ممكن من المصريين بعيدا عن الفئة او اللغة. و لهذا ، فمحاولة منا لجَعل هذا الموقع متاحا لكل شخص لديه اتصال بشبكة الإنترنت , فإننا نعمل جدّيا على ترجمة جميع مواد الموقع الى العربية و سوف نطلق النسخة العربية لهذا الموقع قريبا جدا. و يشمل ذلك ترجمة مقالات المدونة المهمة ايضا.

ثالثا :

لقد طورنا كم المعلومات الذى يمكنكم الحصول عليه عن المبادرات من خلال موقعنا. كل مبادرة لها الان صفحتها الخاصة تشمل معلومات تفصيلية عنها و عن كيفية الاتصال بها. و قد ادمجنا الفيس بوك بأسلوب ميسر فى الموقع. فيمكنكم التعليق على الصفحات المختلفة و التفاعل مع المستخدمين مع قدرتكم فى نفس الوقت نشر تعليقاتكم على الفيس بوك حتى تتمكنوا من مشاركة مدخلاتكم مع الجميع. ندعوكم لتجربة تلك الخاصية الجديدة و إرسال آرائكم لنا.

هام:

يتبادر الى الاذهان سؤال يسئله كثيرون : ماذا بعد؟ الى ـين نحن ذاهبون؟ لدينا 350 عضو لمعرفة تلك المبادرات .. ثم .. ؟

اجابتى هى : إن فريق مبادرات مصرية يمتلك مجموعة من أكثر العقول المصرية إنارة ، المتيّمون الراغبون فى التغيير ، العاملون باجتهاد لتحقيق النجاح فى تلك الاهداف. إن إنشاء مجموعة أو وضع صفحة لكى يتصفحها او يتابعها الناس مرة واحدة لا يكفي. لا .. فنحن نريد دفع عجلة التغيير الى الامام ، نريد دفع المشاركة الفعّالة ، كما نريد تشجيع ولادة مبادرات جديدة ، و بالطبع نريد تحقيق مشاركات من الشباب اكثر من 350. إن مبادرات مصرية هى فى ذاتها مبادرة فعّاله و نريدها ان تبقى كذلك. فنحن نؤمن ان البقاء على هذا الحال لا يحقق لنا شيئا. سوف نظل ندفع و ندعو لفكرتنا ، و سوف نظل ندفع حتى نشارك و نتفاعل جميعا فى مناقشات على الفيس بوك او الموقع. و الاهم هو الاخذ بتلك المبادرات و دفع عجلة التغيير بها فى حياتنا اليومية.

و كما قلت ، هناك الكثير وراء الكواليس يجرى العمل عليه الان. فنحن شباب متعلم و ذكى يأخذ بجدية و بحرفية ذلك العمل. فنحن كفريق عمل مبادرات مصرية ، بإنتظامنا و نظامنا و استراتيجيتنا و باتباع منهجيتنا العلمية يكون طريقنا.

كلمات اخيرة :

ادعوكم الان مرة اخرى اذا كنتم تحبون مصر و اذا كنتم تؤمنون بالفكرة و لديكم الدافع للمشاركة و ذلك بأن:

  • تصبحوا اعضاء فى صفقة facebook fan page
  • اقتراح تلك الصفحة لكل اصدقائكم على الفيس بوك
  • اذا كان لديكم صفحة فى تويتر Twitter ، ارسلوا عنّا.
  • ادخلوا على هذه الصفحة و قوموا بالتفاعل و التعليق على المبادرات المختلفة.
  • و الاهم ، تعلمّوا شيئا من تلك المبادرات و البدء فى دفع عجلة التعيير فى المجتمع.

كونوا على اتصال…

فنحب ان نسمع منكم ، ابعثوا لنا رسائلكم اذا كانت لديكم أي اشياء تريدون المشاركة بها معنا. إذا كانت لديكم مقترحات او اية أفكار او تعليقات او نقد .. أى شيئ.. لا تترددوا فى الاتصال بنا!! فانه تنتابنى حالة من السعادة الفائقة – تجعلنى حرفيا اريد القفز من مقعدى و الرقص طربا – عندما استقبل اية رسالة من شخص محب لهذه المبادرة مثلنا.

تحيا مصر.

مهند

Hello Egyptians,

In this post I would like to give you some updates on what’s going on these days, especially what is happening behind the scenes.

So first Update:

We are migrating from the Facebook group to a Facebook Fan page. As you might have already read in my previous post about the concept of the platform, we are capitalizing HEAVILY on social media. Therefore a Facebook Fan page gives us a set of tools and functionality that a Facebook group just doesn’t, and this on the long run should allow us to reach a larger number of people.

So I would like to ask you to become a fan of the Facebook Fan Page which you can find here, and invite all your friends to join. There is a nifty nice trick to invite all your friends with one click, which you can find on the Facebook page.

Also don’t forget that we won’t be able to send a message to all members anymore. Technically we can but it doesn’t really go to your inbox anymore. It goes into the Updates section under messages. So check that regularly please.

Second Update:

Unfortunately, people were under the impression that this platform is for the elite class in Egypt only and for the English speaking community only. That is NOT TRUE! We are trying to reach the largest number of people possible regardless of class or language, and therefore in an attempt to make this website accessible to EVERYONE with an internet connection, we are working hard on translating all of our material into arabic, and we will be launching an arabic version of the website very very soon. That will include translating important blog posts as well.

Third Update:

We have improved the amount of information you can get about the initiatives through the website. Each initiative now has its own page with detailed information and detail contacts. We have also integrated Facebook seamlessly into the website, so you can comment on the different pages and interact with other users, while at the same time publishing your comments to Facebook so you can share your input with everyone else in your network. Please try out this new feature and send us your feedback!

IMPORTANT:

So a question pops up in many people’s minds: So whats next? Where is this going? So you got some 350 members to join the group and learn about those initiatives, then what?

My answer is this: The Egyptian Initiatives Team has some of the brightest young minds in Egypt, who are very passionate about change, and who are working really hard on making this a success. It is not enough for us to just create a group or put up a web page where people can just join or look at the web page once and thats it! NO! We want to drive change, we want to drive ACTIVE PARTICIPATION, we want to ENCOURAGE THE BIRTH of other initiatives, and we most definitely want to reach an audience way bigger than 350. Egyptian Initiatives is an ACTIVE initiative, and we want to stay this way. We believe that if we stay idle then we’re not really doing much. We’ll keep pushing to get our idea out there, and we’ll keep pushing till everyone is involved and everyone is engaging themselves in discussions on facebook and on the website, and most importantly taking up those initiatives and driving change in their everyday life.

As I just said, a lot of things are in the works behind the scenes now. We are well educated intelligent people, and we’re taking this very seriously and professionally. Organized, systematic, strategic, and following scientific guidelines is the way to go for the Egyptian Initiatives Team.

Final Words:

I am asking you again, if you love Egypt, if you believe in the idea, if you believe in the potential, then please do the following:

  1. Become a fan of the facebook page.
  2. Suggest the page to all your friends on Facebook.
  3. If you have a twitter account then tweet about us!
  4. Visit the Website and check out all the different initiatives, comment and interact!
  5. Most importantly: learn something out of those initiatives, and drive change in community.

Get in touch with us!

We would love to hear from you! Please drop us an email if you have anything you would like to share with us. If you have any input, any ideas, any suggestions, any comments, any feedback, any criticism, anything, anything, anything at all! Get in touch! I literally jump out of my chair and start dancing everytime I get an email from someone who is as passionate about this initiative as we are.

Ta7ya Masr,

Mohannad

]]>
http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/some-important-updates/feed/ 30
مطلوب متطوعين http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/volunteers-wanted/ http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/volunteers-wanted/#comments Tue, 16 Feb 2010 16:39:18 +0000 Mohannad http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/?p=16

مطلوب متطوعين للعمل علي ترجمة الموقع للغة العربية
submit@egyptianinitiatives.com

]]>
http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/volunteers-wanted/feed/ 1
The concept behind the platform explained in detail http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/the-concept/ http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/the-concept/#comments Tue, 16 Feb 2010 01:04:16 +0000 Mohannad http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/?p=4

Dear Egyptians,

Welcome to the blog and thank you for taking interest in our little project.

If you love Egypt, and if you are willing to seriously and actively work for the prosperity of this nation and the improvement of this country, then please continue reading.

The feedback I got so far from the website visitors sorts the people in two groups:

- People who truly understand and love the idea, and are volunteering to support it in any way possible.

- And people who show passion, but don’t quite get the concept.

So I realized that I might have not quite explained the concept properly, or perhaps the messages were not delivered as they should have been. Therefore I decided to launch this blog, so I can also speak directly to the visitors and explain things in detail, and allow room for discussion and elaboration whenever needed.

I would like to start with this post, and ask you to take a few minutes to read carefully through it, try to understand the concept, and comment and ask any questions in case there are any parts which are not crystal clear. So here goes my attempt to explain the idea and the vision (i took this out of an e-mail I recently sent out to a fellow “Initiator”:

The concept is basically a result of several remarks or realizations that came together to reveal huge potential which we can capitalize on. Those realizations were:

  • Egypt has many many problems. That is no secret and no brilliant epiphany. Whether its pollution, poverty, hunger, traffic, sexual harassment, or simply garbage on the street. There are more than enough problems we have to deal with.
  • The poor are very poor and lack the resources. The upper class are living comfortable lives, with good financial resources, enough power, and are privileged with proper education. It is again no secret, that the upper class are the movers and the shakers of this country.
  • People want to do good! There is a genuine desire within the people to do good, to help the poor, to try and make their lives (and the lives of others!) a little better. There is a desire for a change. There is passion for improvement. There are 2 things however that stand in the way: 1) People think given the political situation, and the corruption etc. its practically impossible to drive any change. 2) People don’t know where and how to focus this good-loving energy and efforts. For example if someone wants to donate money he doesn’t know which organizations really need money and for what. If someone wants to live green, he doesn’t really know how to go about it in Cairo, and the examples go on.
  • But when someone actually does show people the way, wonders can happen! When Amr Adeeb in AlQahera Alyoum called out on his viewers to donate for the flood victims in Aswan and Sinai, they collected over 50 Million Pounds in under 2 hours, and on another day they managed to collect material donations (as in food, blankets etc.) to fill up 34 massive trucks. If something that huge can be done, I can only imagine that if we show the people how to make small improvements/changes in their everyday life, this can all add up to the bigger picture of a better Egypt.
  • The young, well educated, well cultured youth in Egypt are rising! Initiatives are bubbling up under the surface. Unfortunately they get very little exposure, and if one is successful the other isn’t, and if one has a big audience, the other doesn’t and so on.
  • Social Media (networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, LinkedIn, Flicker etc.) are growing massively. There is a paradigm shift in the media in Europe and the US, moving more and more towards social media to deliver information and reach a larger audience. This is also starting to reflect on Egypt. In Egypt we have over 12,500,000 Internet users, and over 1,500,000 2,500,000 Egyptian Facebook Users. If someone can capitalize on that, causing a chain reaction, the idea could be viral and would reach a massive number of the people.

Given those realizations, the idea of the EgyptianInitiatives.com Platform was created. The goals are simply the following:
There are 2 main focus areas, which will be our main activity for as long as this platform exists:

  1. Online Awareness Platform promoting the idea of People’s power in changing their own lives and improving their own conditions. People helping people, people helping themselves.
  2. Under this common umbrella of awareness, we would also highlight and promote initiatives through the website and through social media, to show people concrete ways and ideas for actions they can take, or things they can change in their everyday life.

Hopefully soon we would also like to take this to the real world as well and capitalize on the power of talking face to face presenting an idea directly. We would want to speak in Schools, universities, and in gatherings of student organizations like AIESEC, SIFE, EMSA, or CISV.

There is another long term goal I hope we can achieve one day, and that goal is as follows:
Once you build a massive audience base, of educated, cultured, active, good-loving people who love Egypt and would love to make it better, we would also bring on board NGOs, and other charity organizations, as well as corporate sponsors and donors, and then through this platform we can initiate large scale projects based on the collaboration and the cooperation of all those entities, which can span entire cities or even the entire nation.

This will be carried out on small steps along the way. The first step would be, developing a system allowing the initiatives, the NGOs, and the charity organizations to list down their contact information, and a list of what kind of support from the people do they require. For example if someone is planning an event and would require 10,000 LE in donations, this can listed down together with his contact info so people who would be willing to support can get in touch with him and donate. Or if someone would require volunteers to come and work on a special project or event, this can also be listed down, and so on. Basically anything you would need you could list down, and the people can view it and get in touch with you to help.

We EgyptianInitiatives.com will ALWAYS work on the awareness and the promotion, and act as the mediator to facilitate collaboration.

EDIT: Again I would like to repeat: Egyptian Initiatives does not, and will never, have any political or religious direction.

So those are my thoughts :) Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. If you have any suggestions or ideas, also please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Ta7ya Masr,

Mohannad

]]>
http://www.egyptianinitiatives.com/blog/2010/02/the-concept/feed/ 18