One smile convinced me. It was the smile of a young veiled girl in Beit Ayoub handing her article to one of Hibr’s trainers so that she could publish it in Hibr. This little girl was just one out of the many brilliant participants we met during a series of workshops that Hibr is running this summer in collaboration with Relief International. The workshops, which are entitled “Empowering Communities Through Media”, aim to introduce social media and citizen journalism to different parts of Lebanon.
Seeing the participants’ faces light up as they opened their very own blogs and got their very first followers on Twitter made everything worth it. We felt like we were handing them megaphones so that their voices could be heard beyond the walls built by society, tradition and religion.
During the workshops we gave presentations, led fun learning activities and chatted with the participants. We were sure to find a few influential participants and turn them into social media gurus. Every group would surprise us with their capabilities, awareness and ideas.
It is a pity that their voices are slipping away unheard. By participating in these workshops we encountered an experience of a lifetime; teaching, learning, and having a blast. These communities are so ready to move forward and change. That’s why we need to read their blogs and encourage them to speak up.
Beit Ayoub, Akkar: