Egypt: Change the Channel Initiative

During the past few months, Egyptians have been haunted with catastrophic headlines and top stories on a daily basis – from murders, to corruption, to a series of fires, to sexual harassment… not to mention the effect of the global economical crises that the Egyptian officials allegedly confirmed hasn't significantly affected the (already) deteriorating economy. Seriously, it was like a spell has been cast on Egypt and caused a series of unfortunate events.

Amid this grim, Egyptian bloggers decided to revolt against the country's current rueful state and bring out some positive energy to the surface through the “Change the Channel” campaign.

The campaign is the brainchild of blogger Tarek Amr, one of Global Voices Online‘s authors, who describes it as follows:

أنا كانت عندي بوادر عقدة نفسية عشان كل مأقرأ المدونات المصرية ألاقي تعذيب و تحرش و إعتصامات و محاكم و بلاوي سودة.
و بعد كده لما شاركت في جلوبال فويسز لاقيت نفسي مطالب بإنتقاء تدوينات كل فترة لكي أترجمها للغة الإنجليزية حتى يقرأها العالم. و هنا إتحولت العقدة إلى عقدة و شنيطة و كان شبه مستحيل إني ألاقي في وسط هذا الكم من السواد بصيص أمل يحسس الناس إن مصر برضه بلد حلوة مش مستنقع.
“I was on a verge of a nervous breakdown because whenever I read any of the Egyptian blogs, I find nothing but torture, harassment, demonstrations, etc. Later on, when I started writing for Global Voices, I was required to select and translate blog posts into English for the world to read. At this point I fell in the clutches of a breakdown, it was almost impossible to find that little light at the end of the tunnel, the light that would make the Egyptians feel that Egypt is a beautiful country not a swamp.”

He then continues:

عشان كده إتناقشت مع بعض المدوناتية أصدقائي و إتفقنا نخلي ولو يوم واحد كل شهر ننقل فيه حاجات كويسة في بلدنا للناس.
مش شرط تكون كتابات, ممكن صور أو رسومات أو بلوجات صوتية أو أي حاجة.
يوم واحد كل شهر نغير فيه المحطة السودة و نروح لتردد أكثر بياضا.

المهم الحملة ديه إتفقنا نسميها
غيَر المحطة
و حاتكون في اليوم إل رقمه زي رقم الشهر
يعني واحد يناير و إتنين فبراير و تلاته مارس لحد إتناشر ديسمبر

“That's why I started to discuss the initiative with some bloggers/friends and we decided to dedicate a day every month in which we can showcase a positive image about our country. The participation may not only be blog posts, it could be pictures, illustrations, audio or video clips. One day during the month we change from the black wavelength to a brighter one and hence we decided to name the campaign “Change the Channel “. It will fall on the same day that has the same number of the month; i.e: 1-Jan, 2-Feb, 3-March…..12-Dec”

The initiative is highly encouraged and welcomed around the Egyptian bloo sphere and some bloggers are exhilarated about going pink. In her blog, Jessy decided to change the tone until further notice:

“I am going to limit this negative input and replace it with more positive and healthy messages, at least in my own pink bubble life”


  • Its one of the best initiatives.. I love it.. and will join in defiantly..

  • Solo

    Very good move.

  • Well done, Tarek. Excited to hear where this leads. Thanks for bringing us the story, Nermeen.

    ~ Maya

    * GVO, Israel

  • BTW, what does the image say?

  • Fozia

    Maya the image says ‘change the channel’

    This is a very good initiative from Tarek and the other bloggers thanks Nermeen for bringing it to our attention. Watching the news has become so depressing lately

  • Well, that seems obvious. Thanks, Fozia.

  • My eyss teared up as I read this. What a marvelously cool thing to do!

    Tarek is one of the most compelling bloggers I know. He continues to be a bright spot in the blogosphere. It does not surprise me that he would lead such an important and life-altering campaign.

    My hat is off to all of the Egyptian bloggers who made the decision to ‘change the channel’. Blessings to you all – and to you, Nermeen, for sharing this story.


    yess!! this is the spirit we need!..i am in .

  • me too as well very happy with the idea, let’s try to find a bright side to look at :), I believe that we may be cheered up from the others experiences, may be I see something very dark, and the other experienced a very good thing in that area.. like seeing a helpful Mowazaf for example, in the same day I suffered with a erocratic one.

  • […] was the first day of 2009, and it was also the kick-off day of “Change the Channel” initiative. Many bloggers responded to the initiative, even more than I […]

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