Posted on October 26, 2011

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s “Making the Connection” lecture series explored the powerful role technology played in the recent revolutions in the Arab world in a public lecture titled “Technology Enablers of the Arab Spring”, delivered by Yacine Messaoui, Manager of IT and Digital Media at Al Jazeera Network.

In his lecture, Messaoui talked about how technology helped change the political and social scenes in the Arab world. Messaoui’s presentation also gave students the chance to learn more about internship and career opportunities in media technology, particularly at Al Jazeera.

“Today’s lecture is a highly relevant and timely discussion on the role that technology and social media are playing in this new wave of youth engagement. As an institution renowned for our programs in science and technology, it is the ideal complement to our academic mission,” said Khadra Dualeh, Director, Office of Professional Development at Carnegie Mellon.

“It is important for us to highlight the various career options open to students, and how they can contribute to society through their chosen fields. This lecture serves as a door-opener for students to know more about the many career options available,” she said.

During the lecture, which was attended by members of the Doha community as well as the Qatar Foundation community, Messaoui discussed the role technology plays in news gathering, and how Al Jazeera’s implementation of the latest and most portable equipment allowed reporters in the field to provide live coverage of important events.

Yacine Messaoui

“Technology helped change the concept of revolution, and it was a turning point in the recent Arab spring. It was through the usage of advanced technology that reporters were able to cover these revolutions and overcome the obstacles they face while trying to get the news. The latest technology is what enabled these reporters to cover the news from the danger and war zones,” said Messaoui, who has been working at Al Jazeera Network for five years.

According to Messaoui, who played a major role in integrating social media and mobile applications with journalism and the newsroom, these technologies are now used extensively in the field to provide maximum agility and speed for the gathering and distribution of news content.

“Today’s lecture was very inspiring and worth attending. It is really amazing how technology and internet played a major role in the recent revolutions in the Arab world. We now realize the importance of such innovation and we learn how to utilize it more,” said Aisha Al Zaman, a business administration student at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

“We used to watch the revolutions and their coverage on the news without knowing how reporters are able to collect these facts. This session gave me a better understanding of how social media helped journalists cover the news as it happens,” she added.

The “Making the Connection” lecture series is part of a broader Connections program organized by Carnegie Mellon University’s Office of Professional Development that aims to help students get a better understanding of the internship and career opportunities available to them through networking with experts and leaders from various fields and industries.

Launched in 2005, the series has hosted renowned experts in various fields and industries. Last week, the series hosted Vikki Horton, Campus Strategy Manager from Citibank Graduate Recruitment, London-UK, who came to Qatar to recruit students, and Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel Group.

To learn more about the events at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, please visit www.qatar.cmu.edu.

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