MENAFN: Kuwait – ‘Govt mulls control of social media accounts, curb chaos’. “The government has been considering the need to issue a legislation for controlling social media and reducing, if possible, fake accounts that are regarded as sources of destruction and corruption. This was mentioned in a letter submitted to the National Assembly by MP Ahmad Al-Fadhel, requesting the government to explain the procedures that have been taken so far concerning fake accounts and news that have negative implications on Kuwait.”
The Verge: When Influencing Becomes Deadly. “Among one of Tara Fares’ final Instagram posts, which garnered tens of thousands of likes when it was uploaded back in June, is a photo of the Iraqi influencer leaning against her white Porsche convertible. ‘They don’t wanna see u win,’ it says, with Fares posing into the wind, the shadow of her photographer visible in the ‘golden hour’ light. Save for the Iraqi license plate, the photo could easily have been taken in LA, where any number of young women pose in front of convertibles at sunset for Instagram on a given day. But Fares took that photo in Baghdad. She was murdered — shot three times — in the same white convertible, around sunset, three months later.”
Gulf Today: Plans for ‘Arab Digital Union’ announced. “‘The Arab Digital Union is a dream that has long been in the making,’ said Dr Tarek Shawky. ‘It will offer a platform aggregating content from three Arab countries and forming the basis for a prominent pan-Arab content bank – a larger version of our Egyptian Knowledge Bank – disseminating knowledge to all Arabs.’ The Egyptian Knowledge Bank is one of the largest national education projects in Egypt. It houses the largest digital library and online knowledge hub, providing access to free education and scientific publications, in addition to contributing to the production and dissemination of knowledge to Egyptian universities, institutes, and research centres.”
Scientific American: Geologists Measure Bullet Damage to Ancient Middle Eastern Settlements. “[Lisa] Mol, who specializes in rock art and rock deterioration, is now spearheading an initiative—the first of its kind—to quantify and catalogue the impacts of bullets in rock at a heritage site in the Middle East. The eventual goal is to inform efforts to conserve or repair such sites.”
Agh, this article is from last December, but the archive looks great.. I love photography collections. From Muftah: A Free Online Photo Archive Explores the Middle East’s Pluralistic History. “In September 2017, the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan published an online archive of historical images from across the Middle East. The project is being supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Whilst working as an archivist, I helped start this ambitious project to digitize and publish 30,000 photos over four years.”
New-to-me, from Al-Fanar Media: A Social Way to Learn About Arab Culture. “The audience members were not geologists or petroleum engineers. They did not even know in advance the subjects of the talks they had come to hear. Only the names of the speakers and the event’s location were publicized beforehand. The event was organized by a group called Afikra, founded four years ago by a 32-year-old Lebanese social entrepreneur and former high school teacher, Mikey Muhanna. The purpose of Afikra is to provide a social environment in which people can learn about and discuss Arab history and culture.” This would make a great podcast! A digital archive of past lectures is available.
Lebanon Support: Understanding Conflictuality in Lebanon: #DataforChange. “The Conflict Analysis Project… within Lebanon Support’s Civil Society Knowledge Centre, aims at understanding contemporary conflict dynamics and actors in Lebanon, in order to better comprehend their root causes and inform interventions and policy-making. As part of this project, in partnership with the UNDP, Lebanon Support has developed new interactive mappings which provide data and information on the various dimensions of conflictuality in Lebanon, including security operations, mobilisations, and policy decisions: This data serves as a tool for civil society actors, policy makers, and researchers, to produce evidence-based analysis on conflictuality in Lebanon, leading to better tailored interventions on conflict transformation and peace-building.”