An Egyptian’s Optimism against Corruption

“I am optimistic in spite of all the hurdles and difficulties,” declared Mohamed ElHossien in reply to pessimistic comments from some participants and panelists at the “Corruption and Transformations in the Arab Region: Changing Landscapes and New Horizons” session. This session, which kicked off the second day of the 15th IACC featured advocates and leaders from the Arab world and the international community.A young Egyptian activist

For this young Egyptian, age 33, corruption affects almost everything, from society to government, but he says that things are going in the right direction. Mohamed, who is a political science graduate, adapted his website elsyasi.com to support the difficult transition in his country and in the region. His website, created in October 2010, was previously devoted to political awareness, but since the uprising the website now features issues that were, 19 months ago, strictly prohibited. At the top of the list: corruption. The site explains this scourge that pushed young people in his country to revolt in January 2011, discusses transparency, prosecution and asset-recovery as well as providing a space for citizens to report cases of corruption.

“This allows people to express themselves, and this is one of the main achievements of the revolution,” explained the young man, who is still moved by the events that brought down the dictatorship in Egypt and in neighbouring Tunisia and Libya.

Beyond concepts, explanations and citizens’ complaints, Mohamed aspires to further develop his project, which is why the day before, he attended the Game Changer session on online tools and best practices to fight corruption. In this active brainstorming workshop, he has closely followed the presentation of Tarik Nesh-Nash on how to map corruption. Tarik, who is a Ushahidi trusted developer, explained the process of mapping and highlighted how it can be implemented all over the world.

Now, Mohamed is anxious to put the technology of mapping in practice when he returns to Egypt and to add it to his site. “This is just a step, and many other steps will follow,” he added, with a confident smile on his face.

Photo: Virginie Nguyen

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