login / register

Arjan El Fassed

strate­gist for human­i­tar­ian cam­paigns and social media

In sit­u­a­tions of cri­sis it is often the com­mon peo­ple that gen­er­ate news through social media.

Afghanistan is often asso­ci­ated with the Tal­iban, with our boys and girls in Uruz­gan or with yet another inter­na­tional con­fer­ence. Gaza is usu­ally linked with Hamas and mil­i­tary vio­lence. Cri­sis areas are dif­fi­cult to access and dan­ger­ous for jour­nal­ists. Experts, min­is­ters and mil­i­tary spokes­men dom­i­nate the debate. The fact that it is the com­mon peo­ple whose life is caught in a con­flict or a human­i­tar­ian cri­sis is often over­looked. The sto­ries about peo­ple who live and work there, who often have the same dreams and desires as us, are rarely told. About the life in Soma­lia under the human­i­tar­ian cri­sis; or about being one of the 1.4 mil­lion peo­ple in Gaza cut off from the out­side world.

Social media give a voice to com­mon  peo­ple. Twit­ter, Face­book, YouTube, Ipa­dio: the num­ber of peo­ple in Asia, Africa and the Mid­dle East that use social media to oppose vio­lence and injus­tice grows. For many, Face­book, YouTube and Twit­ter have become impor­tant tools to con­nect. Social media can help you get the pic­ture from dif­fer­ent angles because they feed on numer­ous sources. They can be direct, raw and cer­tainly not always accu­rate and dif­fer­en­ti­ated. With social media, every­one can call the atten­tion of a politi­cian or a jour­nal­ist to new aspects. Con­versely, social media offer politi­cians and observers an oppor­tu­nity to gain insight into what is hap­pen­ing in the streets. Like it or not, we live in an age of infor­ma­tion. How we use this infor­ma­tion deter­mines whether we move ahead or stay where we are.

Arjan El Fassed is a can­di­date MP for the Green­Left. For ten years he has worked for inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions for devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion. He was interim head of human­i­tar­ian cam­paigns of Oxfam Inter­na­tional. Pre­vi­ously he worked for human rights orga­ni­za­tions in the Mid­dle East. He is involved in sev­eral suc­cess­ful inter­net ini­tia­tives and has worked with cit­i­zens report­ing from con­flict zones. He is the only Dutch­man in the global top 500 of all twit­ter users.


One Trackback

  1. […] meer over Arjan El Fassed en zijn ver­haal op: Arjan El Fassed op TEDxRot­ter­dam en op […]