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Movements for Change

How Individuals, Social Media and Al Jazeera Are Changing Pakistan, Egypt and Tunisia

Rauf Arif

This book explores social media as an alternative channel of communication and resistance in Pakistan, Tunisia and Egypt, and argues that the term "Arab Spring" limits the scope of acknowledgement for the ongoing online and offline political uprisings in the Muslim World, which started beyond the geographical boundaries of the Middle East. Beginning with an exploration of the pivotal role of Al Jazeera and how it used social media content from protestors to make the uprisings a global conversation, this book takes readers through an overview of creative political protests in each of the three case countries, before delving into an in-depth examination of a specific icon that sparked each revolution in question, and an overview of social movements and the politico-cultural context in each country. In closing, this book offers an understanding on how the new collective memories of nations using social media to protest will affect future generations who are striving to rise against authoritarian regimes, including the Algerian Spring that is ongoing in 2019.

This book can appeal to a wide range of audiences, both inside and outside the academic world. Within academia, courses covering topics such as social media, social movements, comparative politics, Middle Eastern studies and global communication could use this book as a learning tool. In non-academic settings, journalism practitioners could benefit from this book to examine how social media can be an alternate media in the absence of traditional media, and how traditional news media outlets can collaborate with and utilize social media to perform their journalistic duty in oppressive regimes.

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7 “We Are All Khaled Said”

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7

“We Are All Khaled Said”

Who Was Khaled Said (January 27, 1982–June 6, 2010)

A computer programmer, music composer and entrepreneur from Alexandria, Egypt, Khaled Mohamed Said, was just 28 years old when he was brutally murdered (Chew, 2011; “Egypt Police Jailed,” 2014; Meky, 2014). Growing up in a middle-class family in the Sidi Gaber neighborhood of Alexandria, Khaled “liked fishing, taking care of pets and composing music for his friends” (Meky, 2014, para. 3). It is pertinent to mention here that Khaled’s last name has been widely cited and referred to with two different spellings “Saeed” and “Said.” In the Arabic language, both of these spellings yield the same pronunciation of Khaled’s last name. In this chapter, unless a direct quote that uses the “Saeed” spelling is being used, the “Said” spelling will be used as a reflection of the Facebook campaign, “We are all Khaled Said,” which also uses “Said” as the preferred the spelling of his last name.

Said, whose father passed away when he was quite young, was raised by his mother along with his two siblings (Meky, 2014; Preston, 2011; “White House Honours,” 2011). Growing up in an era of the Internet, Khaled, like hundreds and thousands of other educated youth around the world, had an obsession with computers, smartphones and the Internet. Khaled also had the opportunity to study computer programming in the United States (Chew, 2011). All of these factors—from getting an...

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