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Egypt: Youth using social media to close the gap

Thirty Egyptians, aged 18 to 28, joined hands to produce 10 social advertisements, aimed at social reform.
The project, aptly named Closing The Gap, consisted of three phases held in partnership between The Egyptian Life Center for Creativity and Culture jointly with Freedom House. Its primary phase included an intensive workshop that took place in July 2009. The goal of the workshop was to define the Egyptian context of social marketing, prior social issues that society needs to address through media, along with writing the ideas and storyboards of the ads.

Bikya Masr group blog reported:

The goal of “Closing The Gap” is to train a group of 30 young media activists with interests in new media and its potential role in society. The project served these interests by giving them a chance to represent their views on the usage of new and appropriate media to advocate progressive ideals.

Blogger Mahmoud Saber said:

“The editing phase was finalized by mid-April and the first screening will be hold during April” Mahmoud Saber, Documentary Movie maker and the project technical coordinator said. A third production phase will finish early on May 2010.

On their Facebook page, The Egyptian Life Center for Creativity and Culture explained the uniqueness of this project:

“ The project is a unique experience for us all, it is the first time young people have the chance to express in filming material with total independence from authorities or business interests”, commented Bassam Bahgat, the project’s executive coordinator.

The participants of the project are a group of young Egyptian media activists from diverse backgrounds including media students and professionals. Miral Brinjy, television producer and project facilitator, expressed the purpose of this experience as to learn “how to utilize conventional and new means of communication and media to spread awareness about personal responsibility towards reforming society”

According to Mahmoud Saber's blog:

This project aims to produce 10 social ads and publicize them while networking media activists with other actors through workshops, raising the discussion on media social responsibility through a citizen centered approach. The project shall give way to a new approach to social reform.

He also shared samples of their work

Social Advertising : I'm Egyptian | إعلان إجتماعي : أنا مصري

Two social ads tackle sexual harassment; the first is a comparison between Egypt in the seventies and Egypt today

The second is titled:Social Ad : It's Not Your Right | إعلان إجتماعي : مش من حقك

This social ad is about holding on to hope:

And this one is about Internet Freedom in Egypt:

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