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Background and Mission
7iberINC (sometimes also known as Hiber) is an organization based in Jordan that uses social media to educate and inform youth about environmental, political and social justice issues. It focuses on local citizen journalism. The organization was founded by Naseem Tarawnah, Mariam Abu Adas and Shaden Abdul-Rahman in October 2009. In 2010, 7iberINC trained more than 300 people about social media and advocacy. 7iber.com's mission statement is: "We believe in communities. We believe in people. We believe in social changes. We believe in empowerment. We believe in sustainability. We believe in working passionately." In March 2011, The New York Times featured 7iberINC and organizer Ramsey Tesdell in a piece about youth uprising in the Middle East.
"Ramsey Tesdell, 27, who was leading the discussion, said that social media allowed young women in the village to bypass the men — fathers, brothers, husbands — who circumscribed their worlds and their ability to communicate. They cannot go to the park unaccompanied and meet friends, but they can join a chat room or send instant messages.
“In a lot of ways, it has taken the power away from the traditional powerful leaders, especially older men,” Mr. Tesdell said." -Bullets Stall Youthful Push for Arab Spring
Mu7afazat 3al Bey2aMu7afazat 3al Bey2a, which focuses on the environment, is 7iberINC's most well-known project to date. Volunteers have trained young people across the country to use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook in order to inspire social change relating to the environment. One example of student work resulting from Mu7afazat 3al Bey2a was described by Treehugger.
Organizers hope that the project will inform people around Jordan and the world of important environmental issues that need to be faced.
"Participants... have used their cell-phone cameras to film the garbage piled up in vegetable market and evidence of environmental violations at construction sites. They have mapped the country's nature and wildlife reserves to raise awareness about the need to protect them, and hailed the hard work of municipal sanitation employees."
Hayatouna Al Yawm
7iberINC is currently working on a joint project with International Medical Corps. Hayatouna Al Yawm's objective is to teach Iraqi refugees in Jordan "on how to use various tools, such as a digital camera and a recorder, to create compelling stories about the lives they lead and the environments they reside in." As of March 2011, they expect to train more than 70 young refugees.
7iberINC also teaches people about the benefits of live-blogging events such as elections. When the Jordanian government went through restructuring in 2009, 7iber encouraged citizens to blog and post in forums about it.
Currently, 7iber works on a project called #HashtagDebates, which allows people worldwide to debate important issues on Twitter. Website Curated.by puts the post in one forum and translates them into languages that every participant can read. . "The # Debates seek to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds, by creating an opportunity for a community of Jordanians with a genuine interest in debating and discussing vital national and regional issues," said website Makanhouse.net. The video below is from a training workshop at Zenid where participants learned to live-blog the World Economic Forum.
Sponsors and Partners
7iberINC has worked with and obtained funding from organizations around the world. Some include: Internews, British Council, World Economic Forum, Global Changemakers, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Freedom House, European Commission, UNICEF, Beirzeit University, Jordan Media Institute, Yarmouk University, Ruwwad, Tatawor, Jump Start, UNESCO, UNESCOCAT, The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Gender Social Fund, National Democratic Institute, Boell Foundation, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Public Action for Water, Energy and Environment (PAP), International Medical Corp (IMC), International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Gender and Social Fund (GSF)
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