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smex-press-release

Trailblazers: A Sampling of Local Social Media Projects and the Donors Supporting Them
Lebanon's first dialogue between local grantees and representatives from major donor organizations about the role of social media in civil society in Lebanon and the Middle East

إقرأ(ي) هذه النشرة باللغة العربية

Saturday, November 21, 2009
2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
RSVP | Map

President Barack Obama called for a ‘new beginning’ in America’s relationship with the Muslim world during his historic speech in Cairo in June. Speaking in Morocco earlier this month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signalled the US would turn to the web to reach this goal, announcing a $5m initiative to ‘empower grassroots civil society organizations’ by helping them use digital technology.

With this foray into ‘social media for social change’, the US government is demonstrating that the internet will be at the center of foreign aid and development policy in the years to come and funding opportunities are on the horizon for civil society and non-profit organizations in the region.

Join us and our guests, both funders and grantees, to discuss these opportunities and look at how social media tools are already being used by organizations in Lebanon and the Middle East.

We’ll be talking to practitioners about their projects and asking them what problems they encounter working with online technology in a low-bandwidth environment and whether social media really can help empower us and our communities. We’ll also be examining the relationship between donors and practitioners and asking what role international funding should play in social media projects.

The Panel:

Amanda Cranmer: Political Officer at the US Embassy in Lebanon and representative of the Middle East Partnership Initiative - the program overseeing the US administration’s Civil Society 2.0 project.

Steve Haley: Lebanon country director of Mercy Corps, an INGO that runs social networking site Global Citizen Corps, ‘an international movement of youth who connect globally and act locally’.

Doreen Khoury: Program manager at the Middle East office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, an organization that has funded the Arab Bloggers Meeting two years in a row.

Wissam Salibi: Co-founder of the Lebanese Civic Media Initiative and an activist campaigning against stereotyping and discrimination in the Lebanese media. Also a contributor to migrant-rights.org.

Hala Makarem: Founder of n, an applied research creativity community, and former program coordinator and project manager at the UNDP. She has worked extensively with SMEX and is leading innovation in group facilitation techniques in Lebanon.

Ghassan Yonis: Activist and online strategist from Amman, currently developing herak.org, a portal for Arab activists who are starting projects and looking for funding to mobilize for positive social change.

Social Media Exchange is a Beirut–based organization that specializes in participatory media training for civil society groups in the Arab world. We also promote the production of Arabic content on the web and foster critical thinking about the use of social media in the region.

Social Media Exchange - Email: info@smex.org
Website: http://www.socialmediaexchange.org
Blog: http://socialmediaexchange.blogspot.com

Arabic: +961-3-792-505
English:+961-3-251-099
French: +961-3-839-099

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