Iraqi Streets 4 change With Channel 4 News

iraq map

“We were using Facebook before what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and have had some fierce discussions concerning freedom of speech and expression.

“We use it to argue with Islamist fanatics and to speak to them about their ideals and defend our ideas, multiculturalism, co-existence and national unity”.

Rachid tells Channel 4 News that young Moroccans were not in need of outlets for violent expression, but that Tunisia and Egypt prompted the youth to examine their own authority, with many calling for constitutional reform.

“Technology is peaceful by nature and it came from values that encourage dialogue, instead of violence and alienation.

“Violent protest is usually not fruitful, especially when you have a peaceful and modern medium you can express yourself and your problems.”

Iraq awakening: #Feb25

The ripples of the Arab revolt have been felt as far as Iraq, as many young people see it as a chance to express their opinions and protest against poverty and corruption.

The website and Facebook group Iraqi Streets for Change has been growing day by day and – although in its infancy – has published detailed protest maps and information for people keen to have their say.

The website’s founder and blogger Hamzoz told Channel 4 News the events in Tunisia and Egypt inspired young Iraqis to communicate their opinions.

“Young people are excited to participate in the reform process of the Iraqi regime,” Hamzoz told Channel 4 News.

“The impact of Tunisia and Egypt has reflected on the youth of Iraq who want to express their opinions through the means of social communication.”

Hayder and other online activists use their own Twitter tag #iq4c, but also the #feb25 date stamp as they know they can reach a larger audience by associating their cause with the other revolts.

“I’ve spoken to my friends in Tunisia and Egypt about tips for organising ourselves in similar demonstrations”, Hamzoz said. “I also train young Iraqis on how to use maps.”

Despite receiving threats to stop writing, Hayder says he uses the internet to speak freely and is not afraid.

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