Month: May 2011

The Buzz: Nakbah

May 25, 2011

With several thousands of people protesting on the Nakbah Day in the Middle East and beyond, the event ignited the hearts and minds of the youth with one question that buzzed across the isles of social media communities – when will the world recognize Palestine and what could be the solution.

According to a SocialEyez research, a majority of buzz emanated from micro-blogging websites like Twitter and other real-time discussion boards where Arabs expressed their anger and vengeance against the creation of Israel as they marked the  ‘day of catastrophe’.

“Out of nearly 350 tweets captured on the day of Nakbah, 80% of posts/comments did not support the idea of a march towards the Egyptian borders with the Palestinian territory of Gaza. They said that addressing national problems and issues is more important than organizing the march.

In response to a post by Asmaa Mahfouz, a renowned political activist who supported the idea of the march as a pressure tactic vis-a-vis Israel, a fan named Ibn Masry said: “I guess it’s not the right time for such steps. Egypt is still at the stage of recovery [from the revolution’s effects].”

There were series of clashes that took a toll of 15 people on Israel’s borders Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Gaza.

Share of Voice

Most of the conversations took place on micro-blogs like Twitter, Google buzz and other open discussion forums.

Blogs and Social networks also featured a major share of conversations followed by other media platforms.

Sentiment Analysis: Social media users discuss about ‘Nakbah’

67% percent of conversations on the social networks were negative while 21% positive and 12% were neutral.

  • Over 21 per cent of social media conversations echoed the Israeli accusations that Damascus and its ally Iran orchestrated the unrest.
  • Nearly 67 per cent of social media conversations criticised the American media and majority of US public do not seem to take account the plight of the Palestinians during the Nakbah when the Israeli fighters expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.
  • 12 per cent of social media verbatim reflected a neutral tone towards the debates that took place on the web.

Top Discussed Subjects: What people discussed on social media?

1.       Recognize ‘Palestine’

2.       Is the Arab Spring really an “American” Revolution?

3.       Palestine vs. Israel: how many more innocents need to be killed?

4.       Where is the battle leading us?

5.       What is the solution?

Top Languages: In which language did people discuss most?

What people say? … Sample Verbatim

Is the Arab Spring really an “American” Revolution?

“US-backed revolution in Egypt ? The pure non-violent Egyptian people’s revolution has become a US product.   America has supported the revolution after they were sure that he could not control the country and it was for the interest of Israel security that Egypt would become stable.

US will never really support the revolution nor the country because the country was very stable before revolution.

But from their perspective and of course they will miss Israel’s strongest ally – Hosni Mubarak.

I live in Egypt and I lived every single minute of the revolution and I have a brain that helps me analyze and predict what exactly that is happening and a 5 years old child can also tell you that the USA will never really care for the Middle East no matter whosoever comes up with news stories like – Obama: we support democracy, peace and development in the Middle East.”

What could be the solution?

“The solution of Palestine is quite simpler than our imagination. The only solution for the Palestine is one state with equal rights.

Israel has Arab majority especially when dislocated people of Palestine are relocated to their native towns of Israel. Israel will become Arab dominated secular state.”

Recognize ‘Palestine’

Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has very recently  warned Israel that it has one more year to recognize an independent Palestinian state. If Israel fails to do so, Hamas will “add new cards to the resistance,” Mashaal told a group of young Egyptians who took part in the recent overthrow of the Dictator Hosni Mubarak. Many social media users have ushered their support for this.

…And Prayers

A huge number of social media users expressed resentment for the events that have been saying that the Palestinians have lost so many lives to claim their own land. May Allah bless them and also show them the right direction.

Click on the links below to read the Buzz Report in the following languages:

The Buzz-Nakbah – French

The Buzz-Nakbah – Persian

The Buzz -Nakbah – Arabic

The Buzz: Syrian Revolution

May 15, 2011

The Syrian revolution has been escalating dramatically throughout the last week. The situation is becoming more complex and many believe that the events will have critical implications to the overall security conditions of the entire Arab region.

The Syrian revolution has a lot of similarities with the Egyptian revolution in many aspects, as many political and socio-economic characteristics are similarly common in the two countries.

The Syrian regime is making use of all its resources now to crush the revolution.  On the ground, policemen and street thugs in plain clothes are attacking protesters; killing, looting and destroying anything in their way then claiming they are from the protesters.

This is a tactic to mobilize the common people against the protesters. In media, local TV and radio stations are trying to convince the people that the protesters are hired by foreign states and are working for foreign agendas to destroy the country.

Similar to Egyptians, Syrians do not differentiate between the regime and the president.

Egyptians did not accept it when Mubarak changed the government and were asserted that their request was not to change the government, but to change the whole regime, especially the president who is seen by the public opinion the head of the regime.

This was very similar to the Egyptian revolution, when protesters first called for changing the regime, not the president, and later on when hundreds of people were killed at the hands of the police and security forces, protesters increased the ceiling of their demands to include removing the president.

Popular movement in Syria is very similar to that of Egypt during its revolution, when no one could claim he was leading the protests. However, there are a number of prominent cyber activists who help coordinate among other street activists on the ground.

The popular protests in Syria are led by several activist groups that include liberals and Islamists who work hand in hand to achieve a common goal: toppling the regime.

The Muslim Brotherhood members and other Islamists are strongly participating in the protests lowering down profile to avoid being targeted or accused of leading the protest.

Some of the Key Influencers

Young political activist: Nakhle

Nakhle is a prominent young political activist who is playing a major role on social media networks in coordinating among different activists regarding the when and where protests should start. He always provides protesters and other activists with internet proxies to avoid the government’s jamming of social media networks and some opposition websites.

He was detained several times in 2010 for his online political activism, and he could finally flee to Lebanon where he says he is now helping the protests keep unabated against the Syrian regime.

Opposition activist in exile:  Ammar Abdulhamid

Abdulhamid is a political opposition activist living in exile in Washington and is one of the major Syrian activists who are working on social media networks to coordinate among protesters and help the Syrian revolution keeps momentum.

Syria has many sects of Sunnis, Alawites, Christians and Shiites and many fear that these sects would fight against each other, as the regime is always claiming. However, protesters are always chanting national unity slogans saying they are all one hand.

SocialEyez found that 60% of online conversations say that the Syrian regime is fabricating news stories to create US phobia among the people in order to strengthening its grip over the country accusing any dissents of being traitor and US secret agents.

Sample Verbatim

“Assad is the first sectarian person in Syria. The diversity of sects in Syria is not a problem, but it is Assad who wants to convince people that his regime is preventing sectarianism”

“Why do we consider the US is behind all big events in our world? The US is a devil only in our minds. This is what the Syrian regime wants to do to reinforce its grip over the country. Our problem is only with the Syrian regime. The US has nothing to do with our protests.”

“From the Egyptian people to the great Syrian people: Keep strong and persistent, as all indications prove that this [Syrian] repressive regime will collapse. The brutality the regime is using against its people today proves that it is breaking up on the hard rock of the people’s will.”

Top Countries: A majority of conversations happened in the US followed by the EU countries and then Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the other GCC countries.

Sentiment Analysis: The sentiment is largely negative as people continue to criticize the ruling government. 

Share of Voice: People in the Arab world mostly discuss the social political issues on the micro-blog forums like Twitter, Google buzz, etc.

Compiled by the SocialEyez Content Team

Buzz Report: Death of Osama bin Laden

May 8, 2011

Bin Laden again unites, then divides, US, Europe and Middle East

Ten years ago, when Osama bin Laden’s men flew airliners into New York’s World Trade Center, they sparked an outpouring of solidarity from Europe, captured by a French newspaper under the headline “We are all Americans now.”

It didn’t last. And now bin Laden’s death, unarmed, at the hands of American troops has brought a new wave of contrasting emotional responses across the world.

SocialEyez monitored the conversations around the world with focus on the Middle East and North Africa region and analysed the trends.

Trends in the Middle East:  Arabs sympathise with Obama

In Middle East there is a widespread feeling of sympathy with Bin Laden’s death and condemnation to burying/throwing him at sea. However, this trend is not necessarily supporting his views or doctrine of violence.

  •  The majority of online users (about 65 %) sympathized with his death portraying him as “a brave man who dared to say No to America and expose its double standards in dealing with the Palestinians, at a time when no Arab leader dared to.”
  • Around 30 % of users directly blamed his adoption of violence as a solution. About 15% severely criticized him and his use of violence.
  • About 35% of users said they suspected the death of Bin Laden, at least not believing the US narratives regarding throwing him into the sea. They said the circulated picture of BL’s face after death, which is attributed to a Pakistani TV satellite station, is fabricated, showing the original one out of which the fabricated picture was made.

Sample comments:

 “Although I disagree with him [Bin Laden] about how the Muslim World’s crisis should be managed, I consider him a champion who sacrificed for the interest of the Muslim World. May Allah accept him among martyrs”

 “If one hero died, hundreds of other heroes would be born.” 

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Criticized

Muslim Brotherhood prominent leader Essam Al-Erian was criticized by online users because he commented on the death of Bin Laden saying “One of the causes of violence is now removed”.

At the same time he asked the US to end its existence in Iraq and Afghanistan saying that it is time to give the Arab nations the chance to build up their democracies and enjoy freedom, especially after the Arab world has recognized its way to democracy.

  • Nearly 45% of online users’ comments in several websites, especially on Al-Jazeera Channel website, criticized Al-Erian for not giving condolences to Bin Laden’s death accusing him of taking the US and the West’s side.
  • About 30% of comments said Al-Erian, and the MB in general, should have criticized the US which killed a symbol of Islam.
  • About 25% of online conversations supported Al-Erian for his stance saying that the Muslim Brotherhood has been always condemning violence and Bin Laden’s principles as not representing the moderate teachings of Islam.

Facebook deletes “We are all OBL” page

Two Facebook pages were created to mourn the killing of OBL. Inspired by the Egyptian most successful Facebook page “We are all Khalid Said”, which had a major role in the Egyptian revolution, the two pages were named: “We are all Martyr OBL” and “We are all OBL”

After reaching more than 10,000 members in few hours Facebook deleted “We are all OBL” page. The majority of comments on the two pages were focused on the heroism of OBL as he “faced” the US oppression of Muslims, especially those in Palestine.

The fans that commented on the pages could not believe in violence as a method of facing oppression, but they mainly sympathized with Obama as “the one who could break the silence, especially of the Arab rulers, towards the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians”.

SocialEyez Monitored the daily volume of conversation about OBL on social Media

Share of Voice: A majority of conversations took place on Microblogs

Sentiment Analysis: People mostly shared a negative sentiment on Osama bin Laden’s death

Click on the links below to read the Buzz Report in the following languages:

Buzz Report – Arabic

Buzz Report – Persian

Buzz Report – French

Report Compiled by the Content Team @Social_Eyez



Royal wedding sets social-media records

May 1, 2011

SocialEyez reports more activity around Will and Kate wedding than for Japan earthquake or Egyptian uprising with Egypt being the top contributor from the Middle East region.

The links on official website for the Royal Wedding were constantly updated as they featured the latest videos, photos on YouTube and Flickr respectively; in addition to the frequent posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter.

Facebook released some numbers about the Royal Wedding that says a lot about what people were saying about the event.

Americans on Facebook were way more excited about the wedding than their British counterparts, with 1.953 million US users posting updates about it compared to 1.004 million in Britain.

Facebook users were concentrated on fashion and celebrity in their status updates, with David Beckham, the wedding dress and Princess Beatrice’s crazy hat all getting a lot of buzz on the site.

In fact, as of time of writing, over101,411 people are fans of “Princess Beatrice’s ridiculous Royal Wedding hat.”

SocialEyez monitored millions of conversations on various social media platforms and found that Egypt was the only Arab country to capture a spot in the list of countries that discussed the Royal Wedding on the internet.

Egypt is gradually carving a niche for itself as the social media capital of the Middle East, the country ranked 14th in the list.

Some Facts

  • Sentiment was mostly positive (58%). 24% of tweets registered as neutral, and 18% were negative
  • 64% of tweets came from women, versus 36% from men
  • Mentions of the #RoyalWedding hashtag topped 1 million by mid-ceremony
  • 42% of all Royal Wedding-related tweets came from 39% came from mobile devices.
  • Top hashtags include #royalwedding, #rw2011 (the official Royal Wedding hashtag), #royalwedding!, #rw11, and #bodareal (Spanish for “#royalwedding”)

By SocialEyez Content Team