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Egypt: Change the Channel Initiative

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Egypt, Ideas, Technology

During the past few months, Egyptians have been haunted with catastrophic headlines and top stories on a daily basis – from murders [1], to corruption [2], to a series of fires [3], to sexual harassment [4]… 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 [5], one of Global Voices Online [6]‘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 [7]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”