Riham's Blog


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Causes category.

Mashallah: disOriented news

I heard about this project through a friend on the Mashallah team, and I found it very interesting. The launching of the website was on November 25, and you can check it out here: http://mashallahnews.com

I decided to blog about it and had a brief Q&A with them.

What is Mashallah news?
It’s a platform for social & cultural news from cities between Morocco and Iran where the expression “Mash’allah” is used. Articles are available in English, French and Arabic. Currently, we cover Casablanca, Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, Jeddah, Istanbul, Tehran but we’re looking to expand and engage new contributors from other cities in the region.

Why did you decide to create this platform, when you express the same opinions on your own blogs?
All of us aren’t professional bloggers. We come from different backgrounds but share the same frustration. We were fed up with the usual news coverage which usually communicates simplistic views and stereotypes about places in the region.

What does Mashallah team hope to achieve with this platform?
We want to cover stories that rarely make it to conventional media and thus reach a public interested in cultural dynamics and everyday life stories in these cities. We aim at gathering a community of readers eager to know about urban life, social initiatives and personal stories.

What topics do you focus on? What topics are not covered/should not be discussed on Mashallah news?
We focus basically on social and cultural issues and we are looking for original and surprising stories from the cities that we cover. There are already many websites dealing with national, regional and international aspects of politics – today they all speak about the Wikileaks for instance.
Overall, there is a shortage of news media that deal with non-political issues, and the ones that do this are often local. Mashallah wants to fill this void by being a portal for connecting a number of dynamic cities with a vibrant cultural and social life. We provide a space for an outlook that is both urban and regional.
Also, our way of working and publishing is focused on quality rather than quantity, so you should not expect Mashallah to cover hot news and: we prefer feature topics and less-told stories

Who can participate? How can readers help?
Everyone with some writing, translating or photography skills, who lives in one of the countries we aim at covering and shares our outlook. Readers can help by sending us their feedback to info@mashallahnews.com and also by spreading the word on the street, Facebook, Twitter: everywhere !

So, check out the website, browse through the cities and read the articles. If you like what you see, then spread the word, tell your friends and your friends’ friends, contribute if possible.

Follow them on Twitter: @mashallahtweet
Like their page on Facebook


Blog Action Day 2010: Water

Have you ever had a long day at work and you waited for the moment you can get home and jump in the shower? Ever went jogging on a hot summer day, and waited for that moment when you’re done so you can have a big gulp of water? Now imagine if this shower and that drink were not an option for you.

If your country suffers from poor infrastructure in general, and water mismanagement in particular (not hinting at any one country here.. hmm), then you probably have lived through a day or two without running water. I know I have, and I can honestly say that I would choose lack of electricity over lack of water any day. If not being able to conveniently take a shower is so frustrating, imagine how much worse it would be if you didn’t have access to drinking water, and that this was your reality.

I don’t want this post to sound like a civics class. We’ve all taken those classes and we all know that there is a water problem in the world. However, it isn’t until you see the numbers and facts, and I mean really look at them, that you know how big the water problem is. Check out this page about water facts, and how they affect millions of people in the world.

Almost 1.1 billion people’s reality is much different than ours. What we take for granted and use, abuse and misuse is something they walk for kilometers to get and die in its pursuit. Millions of children die because of diseases related to the water problem. While knowing this, our problems should seem trivial.

Why hasn’t much been done about this? One of the reasons is what makes the world go round: Money. There isn’t enough funding to decrease the consequences of the scarcity of water, or the difficulty of access to it. This seems hard to believe when looking at the useless things governments spend money on. Tree shaped islands, weapons, the list can go on and on.

No individual can do anything to solve this, but what we can do is hel; spread awareness and donate. I can tell you about one thing I have recently done. My family and myself contributed to the building of a well. A small amount each, and we are helping bring water to people who need it most. I hate myself for not having all the information with me right now since I wanted to share it, but let me know if you are interested and I will give you all the details next week when I can get them.

This post is my participation in the Blog Action Day 2010.


Hike of Hope

Poster for the event taken from the Facebook page

I am not sure why I haven’t heard about this before last week, but now that I have, I’d like to share the word.

Hike for Hope is basically a team of 6 Lebanese men, who are planning to climb to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, in order to create awareness about the Children’s Cancer Center and all of the amazing things it does to children. By doing that, they hope to encouraging people to donate to the Center, as it relies mostly on the funds it receives through donations in order to treat their patients.

I strongly respect CCCL and the people who contribute to it and its cause. It isn’t only because I worked there for almost two years, but because it has personally helped me get through some difficult things I was going through in my life at the time. Any event or campaign that aims to contribute to it and help it achieve its mission is one I support. So please, spread the word, donate if you can and help the Hike of Hope team raise as much money as possible.

Read more about the team, the hiking plan among other issues on their website.
Follow them on Twitter @HikeOfHope.
Check out their Facebook page
And most importantly, Donate! 🙂


ما بحب أكتب بالعربي المشبرح


من ليبانون أغريغاتوراليوم يجتمع عدد من اللبنانيين ليتذكروا أن لغتهم ليست الفرنسية أو الأنجليزية, بل العربية.

منذ أسبوع, كنت أناقش الكتب التي أستمتع بقراءتها, فأخبرت مستمعتي أنني أحاول دائما التركيز على اللغة التي يقل استعمالها في حياتي اليومية. فعندما كنت أدرس بالفرنسية, كنت أقرأ الكتب الأنجليزية, و العكس صحيح. فكانت الأجابة “و العربي وين؟”

نجد “العربي” في كل مكان حولنا. نرى الشباب يستعملون لغات أجنبية للتواصل, و لكن في معظم الأحيان يعودون الى المنزل و الى لغتهم, ثم الى المدرسة لكتابة موضوع انشاء. أما الأجيال الأكبر تستعمل لغات أخرى في عملها يوميا, و لكن تسمع الأخبار و تشاهد برامج في لغتها.

من امكاننا القول أن اللغة العربية تموت في لبنان, و لكن أعتقد أنها تتعايش مع غيرها من اللغات, و يجب علينا مساعدتها لكي تسيطر أكثر على كلامنا و كتاباتنا, دون الغاء غيرها من اللغات.