Final Reflection

This course has been helpful and insightful of many things. One of the main things I learned in this class is that each and every one perceives things differently based on their background. Not only am I talking about just perceiving normal subjects like racism, but also things like how to learn. In this class, each one of us was comfortable with something different and found different things helpful in learning. Also, the second thing that taught me a lot and made me gain a unique experience is the Soliya sessions. This was a wonderful experience in which I learned how to communicate from people from different parts of the world and to communicate my thoughts and experiences with people I have never seen before and that have completely different mindsets. The third thing I learned from this class was communicating a certain problem in the society through a digital game that I created. This part of the semester was very interesting and I found myself thinking of ways to depict women’s situation in Egypt though a game. What I loved the most was that I put so much effort in the game and Dr. Maha loved it, which satisfied me and made me feel that my hard work and effort payed off.

One of the things that helped me learn during this course were the discussions we had in class where everyone was free to express their thoughts about a certain topic. Being exposed to different ideas and mindsets helped me understand what people think about the topic and get a bigger look of the topic. Additionally, another thing that helped me learn in this course was Dr. Maha’s interest in everything we do. Dr. Maha, showed us concern and she accepted all our opinions even if they were different and wrong. She made me feel that what I am saying is important and that she cares to hear it, and this made me get out things that I never thought I’d think about or communicate out loud.

The things I found a little bit hectic in the course were having to submit an assignment every class the night before or before 8 AM. Also another thing was having to attend 4 Soliya sessions weekly for 2 hours for a month, even though I loved this experience, I found the 2 hours to be very long and the 4 times in the semester to be a bit much. However, overall, I loved this course and I found it not only light but also interesting and engaging me.



I found a game called “Reality Check” in which the game choses a certain article on the internet, facebook… etc. In this game, the player is required to check out whether this article or piece of news is credible and true or not. The game gives the player the chance to check out the things that can make them know whether the source is reliable or not. The game gives them the chance to check out details about the piece of news or article that validates whether it is true or fake.

In my opinion, this game will help students apply their knowledge about how to check whether a source is reliable and true or not. There is a part of the semester about fake news, where the professor explains the steps to check the reliability and authenticity of a source. This could be an application for this part of the semester where students actually go play the game and check out the sources and whether they are true or not. I think it’s a good game that will help student become very cautious while choosing sources and evaluating them.

Soliya Reflection Paper

Throughout the past month, I have been attending the Soliya conference weekly where people from different parts of the world gathered and communicated together. During the Soliya sessions there were two facilitators that helped lead the talk where there was approximately 10 – 12 participants. What was most regulating is the fact that we have to either take turns to speak or click on a button first; this option helped organizing the session and giving each one the chance to speak without being interrupted since a conference with 10-12 participants can be disorganized if we all talk at the same time. At the beginning of each session, the facilitators began by letting each one of the participants take about the weekly challenge which was a general topic, for instance about what a dialogue is. In the middle of the conversation, each one of us would share about themselves, for example whether or not they like to share information on facebook and start a debate.

During the Soliya sessions, each one of us shared their opinion, beliefs and experiences about certain topics suggested by the facilitator. This helped me be open to listen to different opinions and beliefs that do not complement my culture and mindset. Due to this, I realized that each one of us came from different backgrounds, culture and experiences, therefore discussing one topic can have completely different outcomes of ideas and perception. One of the examples I will never forget is one time the facilitator divided us into groups of two to discuss the corruption of people in authority, and as I was discussing this with my partner from Finland, I realized we both have completely different perception of the police. When I started describing the corruption with the police in Egypt and how we can never trust a police man, she discussed how she perceives the police man as someone who defends her and safety to them. I personally found it very interesting and nourishing to hear people from different backgrounds speaking about the same topic and expressing how they perceive it and their opinion about it. Additionally, most of the topics we discussed were very interesting and each one of the participants added to me.

Most of the Soliya sessions, I found myself speaking, sharing and freely expressing my opinion without having to worry about being judged or misunderstood. The first reason behind that was that I knew that I won’t have to see the participants again afterwards, so I felt free to say whatever I want. The second reason is because none of the participants knew me or had any background information about me, therefore they won’t interpret things accordingly. Thus, after a month of attending the Soliya sessions, I realized I am able to express my opinion and talk freely in the digital world than in real life. However, I kept trying to imagine this conference in real life and it made me feel that we would have communicated things much easily and in much less time.

In order to foster communication in face to face and online modes, I would suggest raising awareness about the benefits of such activity. People tend to be stuck in their own culture, opinion and mindset and are not exposed to different ones. I believe it would be very educating and nourishing to encourage people to participate in the Soliya sessions or similar platforms in order to accommodate different opinions and experiences from people with different backgrounds.

Do Not Track

As I watched the “Do Not Track” videos that were mainly about privacy, it opened my eyes to things I thought were normal, but realized as I was living my normal daily life and routine, it was like I was being tracked by a spy.

Firstly, I watched “The Spy in My Pocket” video that mainly explained how my phone is technically a spy that goes everywhere with me as I go through my daily activities. This video opened my eyes on the fact that even the little things I do such as turning on the flashlight, activates something in the phone that serves as a tracker. Additionally, I realized that everywhere I go there is a tracker that is reflected in the suggestions I receive and how the phone realizes my location and starts suggesting things accordingly. The smart phone in my pocket is spying on us all the time and there is not such thing as privacy when you own a smartphone that tracks every move and step taken.

Secondly, I watched “The Daily Me” video that mainly explained how suggestions and the news that come on my feed is mainly related to the friends I have on facebook and something called cookies which records my interest based on what I open. In the video, they explained how even the news feed that comes up on my facebook page is related to the friends I have, their interests and previous articles I have read. In the video, it has been elaborated that when we like a certain page on facebook, it gives us further suggestions of other pages that I may like, and this is because of a tracker that knows the things I like and other things in common that may interest me. There is a thing called Collaborative Filtering, which is a method of making automatic predictions about the interests of a user by collecting preferences from many users. This method is adapted by many social platforms that most people use. A good example they gave to summarize that, was in the time of the elections where news feeds were filtered for conservatives and progressives on what should be hidden from their feed.

Finally, I watched “Morning Rituals” video of Do Not Track that mainly explained how my habits and things I’m used to do are tracked by some people. The video asked me where do I get my news, my reply was facebook, and then I was informed that each time I decide to open facebook there is 1 tracker. Additionally, it asked me what website do I open when I’m bored, my reply was Instagram, and it also said that there are 2 trackers whenever I open Instagram. The video also showed me a link of this pattern of mine as if it was a tracker who connects the dots with every move I make in order to come up with my life pattern just to be able to get to me with news, interests and things for me to buy. This process is done by something called cookies that is available on every computer and smart phone which tracks every move I make on the internet and social media. I realized that social media is the place industries, companies and restaurants track people to be able to get them to buy their products or to promote for them.

Fake News (Curation Assignment)

The Internet has been recently serving other purposes other than communication such as getting news of the world. In the past few years, the number of people who read the newspaper has drastically decreased de to the presence of the internet and social media platforms that now serve as an easier and faster way of delivering a message and spreading the news. However, this dependency has lead people to spread fake news in order to get attention, create a buzz and get people to believe a certain think.

While preparing for a presentation about fake news for the Mozilla Internet Health Report activity, I was exposed to articles that tackle this topic in details. While preparing for this presentation, I was exposed to some examples of pictures on facebook that are fake and real, and I should have detected whether they are real or not. As I was doing this exercise in order to make it with the class on the presentation, I realized most of my answers were wrong. And then it got me thinking whether everything I saw and believed on social media was real or fake. This exercise and the articles I’ve read helped me realize that not everything I see or read on the Internet is real.

One of the examples of fake news the professor showed us in class was “The Nasa Girl” video in which a university student, Sarah Abouelkair decided to make an experiment and fake that Nasa, Ellen TV and a bunch of other big shows contacted her personally because she suggested the idea of cooking chicken under the aftermath of a rocket. In a couple of days, this video has gained the attention of many Egyptians who believed this girl and were proud that an Egyptian girl has been contacted by Nasa and those big shows. After a while, the girl released a video where she revealed the truth behind that this was a joke and she decided to fake that it was real as an experiment and a way of teaching people that not everything on the internet is real and that it is easy to fake a message sent by Nasa or what so ever. After watching the second video, I realized that there are many things on the Internet that we are exposed to and believe and no one tells us the truth behind it afterwards. And I realized that if a university girl can fake something like that and reach millions of people, then so can anyone. Sarah’s message was very important and I believe it taught so many people to analyze things before they believe them.

In one of the classes, the professor started off the class by showing us a video of Trump in the White House, commenting on a big picture of the “Qaaba” that was hung on the wall and he was saying that this is a sea of love where people come for the same purpose. When the professor showed us this video I automatically believed it and thought that Trump had this hung in the White House because he wants Muslims to vote for him and take his side. However, a few minutes later, the professor showed us the real video where Trump was commenting on the people who were voting for him. When I saw the real video, I thought to myself, why would Trump have a picture of the Qaaba hung on the wall of the White House, why didn’t I have a doubt from the first place. And this, as well the activity of the Mozilla Internet Health Report made me think quite a while before I believe anything I see on the Internet.

Another example of fake news that went viral and that people believed was a picture of lit lanterns in the sky reflected in a lake in the Golden Temple in India while in the celebration of Diwali. The picture was beautiful and went viral on the internet and people believe it was true. Later the creator of the picture revealed the real one and claimed that the one with Lanterns was photoshopped.

One of the examples of fake news that could be harmful and terrifying for people is the picture of the shark on the street that went viral during Hurricane Harvey in the US. This picture terrified people in the US and some actually made sure they were safe at home until they receive news that the Shark was sent back to the ocean. Unfortunately, this was fake news that went viral and the picture is one taken in the ocean not in the street.

Fake It To Make It is a game created to educate people on fake news by basically setting the goal of the game to create a fake news website that you develop and you should be getting viewers and gain money from the website. In this game, I was shown how easy it is to design a fake website that attracts people and that tricks them into thinking that it’s an official website with real news. And I was also shown the huge amount of money one can make just by creating a website that delivers fake news. Such a job could be attractive for many people and so easily done, therefore I realized that it is very probable for someone to design such a website.

One of the main things we learned in class is the Four Moves which taught me how to detect fake news are some steps that help me evaluate the source I am reading. First steps is to get to the original source of the information in order to evaluate the trustworthiness of it. The second step is to check out previous work that has been done related to the topic and whether someone has done any research about it before. The third step is to read what other people say about the source. The fourth step is to reread the information with all the three previous steps now that I know all that. Those four moves are very effective and help in the detection of fake news.

One of the exercises we did in class was the practical way of adopting the four moves of detecting fake news. Our professor gave each 3 of us an article to read and detect whether t’s real or fake. The article my group got was about Pepsi containing fetal cells. First thing that came to my mind when I read the article was why would Pepsi do that? And where would they get so many fetal cells? Then I started by evaluating who the source is and previous work about that topic. I found absolutely nothing and the source was not credible at all. I did not bother continuing checking whether the information was fake or real because it was obviously fake.

9) Another activity we did in class to apply the Four Moves was an Arabic article that stated that Ireland was the number 1 country to adopt the morality of Islam, Egypt number 91 and Saudi Arabia 128. As soon as I read the title, I thought that this article is fake, how come does Ireland come before Saudi Arabia and Egypt. However I started evaluating the source and realized that this article is translated and it was published in “The Journal”. Applying this move made it clear from the beginning that the source is credible since it has been published in an official Journal.

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”. This phrase sums up everything about fake news and how to create a buzz with it. When you make the lie big, simplify it and repeat it to the people, they will believe it and will follow you. This part of the semester got me thinking about fake news in Egypt. As a marketing student, it made me relate to public relations and how some people create fake news about the company and get people to believe it in order to steal their sales or prestige. Public Relations in this case is the way out of this buzz, which is creating a good image stronger than the fake one that has been spread.

Game Final Draft

The Female Fighter game depicts real life situations that occurs in the street when women walk alone in Egypt. The purpose of this game is to portray what it’s like to be placed in a situation where every way out and response leads to negative circumstances. In this game, there are several scenarios followed by 2 or 3 actions, each leading to the aftermath or the circumstances of the actions taken.

The following is a link to The Female Fighter game:

The following is a link of a blogpost about the first draft of the game:

After getting feedback from my professor and some men, I changed a few things that helped me improve my game and make it more professional and realistic. Firstly, I added a slide at the end of the game as a disclaimer that claims that those situations often happen in Egypt but one does not go through them twice a day. Such a change was very important because otherwise the game would be an exaggeration and foreigners can have a wrong perception of the safety in Egypt. Finally, I added a slide at the end of the game before the disclaimer that concludes the game and ends it for the player. Those were the only changes I have made in the Female Fighter game.

If I had more time and resources to create this game professionally, I would definitely ask more women about situations they’ve been through and the circumstances of their actions in depth in order to depict the situation in Egypt in more details. Also, I would add more results, one leading to the other which leads to the other… etc. Getting into details like this would have made the game more detailed and would have gotten the player in depth with the situation and what girls go through.

While creating this game I learned although women are always told to stay quiet when they are subjected to sexual harassment of any kind, it also has negative consequences because it makes men in the street think they are allowed to do whatever they please because women won’t react anyway. One of the most important things I learned through the feedback of one of my male friends was that he gets frustrated when he thinks about his girlfriend or mother being sexually harassed. This automatically got me thinking that if each man thought about his mother, sister or girlfriend before they say anything to a girl, they won’t act the way they do in the street, will think before they say anything or do anything. Finally, I learned that no matter how hard I try to make someone understand and experience something I go through, it’s never as intense and depicting the actual situation. As I watched others play the game, I noticed that some thought it was too much, some laughed and some said I was exaggerating. As much as I tried to convince them that those are real life situations that women I know went through, they’d still secretly think I’m exaggerating.

Equity Blogpost

During the last part of the semester, which was about equity, I learned that people from different backgrounds, nationalities, gender and much more are subjected to different mindsets and qualities of life. I also learned the difference between equality and equity through the cover photo the professor showed us in class.

In order to make us live differences, our professor gave each student a note in which it describes a different identity that will proceed with us throughout the game. I personally got a jewish with a passport from another nationality. The professor asked questions which we needed to answer based on the identity we had on the note, and when the answer was yes we stepped to the front, and when it was no we stepped backwards. As I watched my friends play and as I did, I felt like I was being put in the shoes of someone else and seeing my friends from the point of view of someone else. And this actually made me look closer to inequality and the lack of equity there is.

I enjoyed this part of the semester and tackling this topic made me more conscious to what is happening in the world due to the number of videos we watched and reflected on.