Taghyeer for Social Media: “Changing reality into a better one”
“Israelis have a horrible product but they spend a lot of time in marketing, and they succeed, whereas the Palestinians have a really good product, but invest nothing in selling it.”
The above quotation comes from an anonymous Palestinian official in The Economist’s article, “The battle for public relations” (23 March 2005).
Palestinians have never been very PR-savvy, which has become more apparent since social media platforms ascended, such as LinkedIn in 2003, Twitter in 2005, and Instagram in 2010. Unfortunately, several years later, the PR challenge continues in Palestine. Even though there is a high percentage of the population that uses and possesses accounts on these social media platforms, the Palestinian messaging and imaging currently being amplified most by the media
consists of mostly twisted “facts” and negative images.
This is why Taghyeer for Social Media was established. Taghyeer-which means “change” in English-is a unique and unprecedented nongovernmental organization, which seeks to encourage freedom of speech and advocacy, through innovative, successful, and efficient multimedia and social media outputs. Why is it unique and unprecedented? Whereas a typical organization goes through a hiring and recruiting process, in Taghyeer’s case, each distinguished team member joins voluntarily along the way through the establishment process. Our members are diversified in expertise and backgrounds, united by a shared goal: Taghyeering reality into a better one.
All of these distinctive individuals have “huddled” together to brainstorm breakthrough ideas for Taghyeer for Social Media. The YouKnow campaign is a strong example. YouKnow was Taghyeer’s first initiative within the Palestinian Territories, emphasizing the rights of Palestinian people, particularly educating journalists about the right to access information and knowledge, with the hope of a positive impact in the future. The initiative was so engaging that it was nominated for a “Hult Prize” in 2014 and competed for the million-dollar prize up against 10,000 entries from 150 countries around the world. Taghyeer was very pleased to be invited to London as one of the 40 semi-finalists. Although we didn’t win the big prize, getting that far in a highly-competitive contest was the recognition Taghyeer was seeking to represent Palestinian innovation. Additionally the networking and connections with people from countries across the globe were also worthwhile.
Taghyeer is committed to using technology to benefit the public in the Palestinian territories. Taghyeer’s vision is to provide a haven for youth where they can come and create innovative multimedia output. Taghyeer also aims to contribute in Palestine to elevate its global image in a more sophisticated approach towards nation-branding. Such an approach will take Palestine to a whole new level in social media, because in today’s world, in order to have Palestine as an independent country, first there needs to be a solid Palestine “brand” through social media platforms, which goes beyond simply chatting and posting status updates!
Visit the Taghyeer for Social Media webpage (www.taghyeer.ps) and check out the change we are striving for!
By: Fady Atta