Browsing articles by " Hameed"

Crowd Sourcing: Reporting and Mapping Incidents

Dec 28, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Culture and Tech, photos  //  No Comments

Crowd sourc­ing tools and appli­ca­tions that are used to report inci­dents and map them: they can be used in dis­as­ter response and relief, elec­tion mon­i­tor­ing, report­ing human right vio­la­tion inci­dents, cre­at­ing a detailed visual report of an organization’s projects, etc.

Fol­low­ing tools and appli­ca­tions are inte­grated for the above men­tioned tasks:
Front­li­neSMS: to col­lect raw data and inci­dent reports
Face­book, Twit­ter, E-mail, phone calls, a GPS for exact loca­tions and other means can be used to col­lect data as well.
Ushahidi or Crowdmap are used as the final report sites.

I trained Shuhada Orga­ni­za­tion (an aid and relief orga­ni­za­tion in cen­tral Afghanistan) staff to cre­ate a map of their projects in the region. Shuhada Orga­ni­za­tion Map on Crowdmap

My team helped cre­ate a visual map of Afghan Elec­tion 2010.
Together with the pub­lic health hos­pi­tal we used it for report­ing dis­ease inci­dents in East­ern Afghanistan in 2011.

A T-shirt in Kabul and a T-shirt in Islamabad

Dec 26, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   photos  //  No Comments

An Afghan in Kabul, Afghanistan wear­ing this T-shirt that says, “ONLY A DEAD TALIBAN IS A GOOD TALIBAN”. And in the bot­tom it says, “Repub­lic of Afghanistan” in Pashto.

A store in Islam­abad, Pak­istan sell­ing these T-shirts that have a photo of Osama bin Laden and under the photo it says, “Well-known” in Eng­lish and in Arabic.

Signs in Islamabad International Airport

Dec 26, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   photos  //  No Comments

Trans­la­tion: All pil­grims are kindly requested to pray for the bet­ter­ment of their peo­ple and their nation (Pakistan).

Pak­istani pil­grims wait­ing on a line for their flight to Saudi Arabia

Trans­la­tion: “Warn­ing: Smug­gling drugs into Saudi Ara­bia is death penalty.”

U.S. Prepares for a Curtailed Relationship With Pakistan

Dec 26, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   links  //  No Comments

Mushahid Hus­sain Sayed, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Pak­istan Mus­lim League-Q, an oppo­si­tion polit­i­cal party, summed up the anger that he said many har­bored: “We feel like the U.S. treats Pak­istan like a rainy-day girl­friend.””: this is a quote from the New York Times arti­cle. It’s funny that he thinks that the U.S. treats Pak­istan like “a rainy-day girl­friend”. Nobody spends bil­lions of dol­lars on “a rainy-day girl­friend”.
Pak­istan, Afghanistan and the U.S. are three coun­tries that have been affected by ter­ror­ism the most. I think it’s extremely impor­tant for the three nations to have strong, true and hon­est rela­tion­ship with each other. And to pre­vent ter­ror­ists from spread­ing, other nations’ con­tri­bu­tion in this war is vital.

U.S. Pre­pares for a Cur­tailed Rela­tion­ship with Pakistan.

Nangarhar Media Office: Collecting and Disseminating Information

Dec 21, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Culture and Tech  //  No Comments

Nan­garhar Governor’s Media Office uses sim­ple tech­nol­ogy to gather infor­ma­tion and secu­rity updates and to dis­sem­i­nate that, if/when needed. Nan­garhar province in the east­ern Afghanistan has 22 dis­tricts and every morn­ing, the media office calls the dis­trict gov­er­nors and get updates on secu­rity sit­u­a­tion in their dis­tricts. They use a notepad to jot down any notes dur­ing their tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with the dis­trict gov­er­nors. They always check with the provin­cial direc­tor of National Secu­rity Direc­torate (NDS) to make sure that the infor­ma­tion and fig­ures are accu­rate.
The office emails their daily provin­cial reports to every­one in the governor’s office but since a lot of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries don’t have access to the Inter­net they have to print the reports and give every employee a hard copy. In addi­tion to that, they also call the local and inter­na­tional jour­nal­ists in the area and brief them with any new inci­dents reports. So that the jour­nal­ists can then fol­low up on those sto­ries. There is a lit­tle phone book that has the phone num­bers of jour­nal­ists in it and they carry it with them around.
Also they call them when there before inau­gu­ra­tion cer­e­monies or other spe­cial events if the jour­nal­ists would want to cover the event and report. The media office call them, usu­ally a day or so ahead of the event.
Nan­garhar media office has a con­fer­ence hall that they use for press con­fer­ences and it also serves as a room for jour­nal­ists to drink tea and work on their reports. There are one or two com­put­ers for the media office use only. Most jour­nal­ists come here with their note­books to write and edit reports and then they dig­i­tize that some­where else later.

My team is help­ing Nan­garhar Media Office with a spe­cial SMS sys­tem that will make their work much eas­ier. We’re work­ing together with Pay­wast, which is a SMS social and busi­ness net­work­ing com­pany in Afghanistan to make SMS groups for the media office. There will be dif­fer­ent groups (for exam­ple, journos’ group or dis­trict gov­er­nors’ group) and each group will have mem­bers and an admin/owner. If the media office, which is the admin of the group send a mes­sage to the jour­nal­ists group, every­one will receive it. Then if the jour­nal­ists want to send a mes­sage back only the admin receives it. So it’s an inter­ac­tive group that takes them one text mes­sage to get a report to every­one in a cer­tain group. The owner of the group (the media office in this case) can add/remove mem­bers from the group. Once the group is up and work­ing they no longer have to carry that phone book with them. They can send/receive mes­sages from their web inter­face or right from mobile phone.
Inno­va­tion and Sup­port to Emer­gen­cies, Dis­eases and Dis­as­ters (InSTEDD) uses a sim­i­lar tech­nol­ogy called GeoChat for real-time group com­mu­ni­ca­tion. GeoChat is an open source group com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy that lets team mem­bers inter­act and main­tain shared geospa­tial aware­ness of who is doing what where — over any device, on any plat­form, over any network.

From Afghanistan to Cambodia

Dec 18, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   links, Peace  //  No Comments

Online Freedom of Expression in CambodiaToday, I met with a spe­cial group of young cit­i­zen jour­nal­ists and blog­gers in Phnom Penh, Cam­bo­dia. At this 4 hours event we dis­cussed Online Free­dom of Expres­sion in Cam­bo­dian. I shared my expe­ri­ences about blog­ging and the use of social media in Afghanistan and the prob­lems and obsta­cles that we are fac­ing in this area. Dig­i­tal media col­lec­tive forum fea­tures my talk.

More details about the event here.

First Graduates of Shaheed Mirranay Education Center

Nov 28, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Children in Conflict, Human Rights, Peace, Poverty  //  1 Comment

Sha­heed Mir­ranay com­puter and Eng­lish lan­guage cen­ter was built in April 2011. It’s located in South­west of Jalal­abad city– one hour drive from Jalal­abad city. Together with my team I set up it’s solar power sys­tem and the com­puter lab. We installed five com­put­ers and a printer, four solar pan­els with a power inverter, and four car bat­ter­ies. The solar power sys­tem gen­er­ated enough power to run the five energy effi­cient lap­tops for six months sev­eral hours every­day (After six months, two of the four bat­ter­ies stopped work­ing now and they are plan­ning to replace them soon).

The train­ing cen­ter recruited many poten­tial stu­dents and selected 317 of them in 18 dif­fer­ent level com­puter and Eng­lish lan­guage classes when it started. With four Eng­lish lan­guage teach­ers and two com­puter train­ers it is open 6 days a week for 8 hours each day. The cen­ter has a gen­eral man­ager and two guards. Seven months after its start, Sha­heed Mir­ranay Eng­lish lan­guage and com­puter cen­ter is award­ing cer­tifi­cates to its 300 grad­u­ates: 110 stu­dents will be awarded cer­tifi­cates in basic com­puter skills and 190 stu­dents will receive cer­tifi­cates in inter­me­di­ate Eng­lish lan­guage use. I was vis­it­ing the train­ing cen­ter last week and all the teach­ers were busy putting fin­ish­ing touches to their stu­dents’ cer­tifi­cates. They’ve already started recruit­ing new stu­dents for their upcom­ing classes.

When I was vis­it­ing this cen­ter in Sep­tem­ber, all these lit­tle kids seemed very sad because they had been told that the cen­ter would close down that month because there were no more funds for it. How­ever, they were able to keep it run­ning and keep it funded some­how. This time, the stu­dents looked way hap­pier. They didn’t have to worry about the closure.

Com­pared to the rest of Nan­garhar province, Khogyani has the most Tal­iban and insur­gents. Going there, I drove through sev­eral bomb craters on the road that had tar­geted Inter­na­tional Secu­rity Assis­tance Force (ISAF) and Afghan National Army (ANA). Tal­iban and other insur­gents exploit teenagers and lit­tle chil­dren by giv­ing them a bomb to plant on the road. They give them $15 for each bomb they plant. The day before my visit, two US army tanks had been blown up by an Impro­vised Explo­sive Device (IED) on the road in the nearby area of Mimla. Two teenagers that were plant­ing a bomb on the road were killed in an airstrike that day.These kids don’t know any­thing about bombs and ammu­ni­tion. Some­times, they get killed due to pre­ma­ture detonation.

Besides insur­gency, peo­ple also grow poppy on a very large scale in this area. Under the Tal­iban, their num­ber one income was from grow­ing poppy. It’s still grown here. When I was there, I saw that the dis­trict prison was full of detainees who had been cap­tured for grow­ing poppy or for their involve­ment in other insur­gent activ­i­ties. The dis­trict gov­ern­ment was redi­rect­ing detainees to other pris­ons in the country.

Photo credit: Najib Bismil

In an area like this which is infested with the Tal­iban and other insur­gent groups, an edu­ca­tional insti­tute plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in edu­cat­ing the next gen­er­a­tion and pro­vid­ing them with the right tools and skills needed to serve their coun­try. They will have a brighter future than that of their ances­tors, a decent job and a more sus­tain­able income to sup­port their fam­i­lies. When I was vis­it­ing this edu­ca­tion cen­ter two months ago, one of the stu­dents told me, “I want to learn com­puter and Eng­lish lan­guage to work with an inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion and help build my country.”

Basketball in Jalalabad

Nov 27, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   photos  //  2 Comments

Be in Jail for 12 Years or Marry Your Rapist

Nov 26, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Afghan woman jailed for being a rape vic­tim offered release if she MARRIES her attacker

Gul­naz was con­victed of adul­tery because she had sex out­side of mar­riage by being raped. After falling preg­nant by her attacker, she and the baby were jailed for 12 years. She has been given the choice to marry her rapist and be freed from jail

Read the full story here.

Proud to Be an Afghan

Nov 25, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  1 Comment


Za Afghan Yem and Mann Afghan Hastam.