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Opening Session: The Digital Battlefield: Insights on Emerging Trends in the Digital Landscape in Times of War

15:00-16:30 EEST, Beirut Time

Description: Join us for an engaging webinar where activists from the WANA region come together to explore the evolving landscape of digital rights amidst times of war.
In this session, our panelists will discuss the pressing challenges faced while advocating for digital freedoms in tumultuous environments. This webinar will provide a platform to gain insights into the pragmatic strategies, ethical considerations, and ongoing struggles inherent in defending digital rights during war.

Mohamad Najem
, Executive Director, SMEX
Nadim Nashif, Director, 7amleh
Hassan El Azhary, Co-founder & Lawyer, Masaar
Ali Abdulemam, Digital Security Expert, Red Line for Gulf
Mai El Sadany, Executive Director, Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Hayder Hamzoz, Founder & CEO, INSM Foundation for Digital Rights
Language: Arabic


Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights In Times of War

16:10-17:00 EEST, Beirut Time

Description: SRHR activists from the WANA region come together to discuss sharing SRHR content online. We will decypher content moderation SRHR information, share daily lived experiences and recommendations and further discuss the implications of sharing/or not SRHR content online on people in Lebanon, Egypt, Palesitne, Jordan, Tunis and Iraq. 

Chrystine Mhanna, Journalist, Raseef22
Alissar Zaghlout, Project Lead, SMEX
Norhan Salama, SRHR PRogram Manager, Center for Development Services
Mariam Yaghi, Journalist, Feminist & Editorial Coordinator at SharikaWalaken Platform

Lucie Doumanian, Deputy Director, SMEX

Language: Arabic


Content Moderation as a Tool of Oppression

17:00-18:00 EEST, Beirut Time

Description: Over-moderation and under-moderation represent two sides of the same coin: shortcomings in content moderation practices, caused by systemic policy failures, ultimately resulting in harm inflicted upon individuals and marginalized communities both within online spaces and in the tangible world. In this session, we will delve into the effects of moderation across diverse contexts, both international and regional, while also touching on their effects on LGBTQ+ individuals.

Raya Sharbain, Education and Communities Coordinator, The Tor Project & Research Fellow, The Citizen Lab
Marwa Fatafta, MENA Policy and Advocacy Director, Access Now
Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Rasha Younes, Interim Deputy Director, Human Rights Watch

Dionysia Peppa, Policy Analyst, SMEX



Digital Rights Fund for WANA

18:15-18:45 EEST, Beirut Time

Description: Over the years, SMEX has documented and reported online human rights violations in West Asia and North Africa, advocating for a free and open internet. As we anticipate further challenges in the region in 2024 and beyond, we recognize the need to adapt and intensify our efforts to support digital rights.

In response to these evolving challenges, SMEX has launched the Digital Rights Fund for WANA (DRF). This initiative aims to empower individuals, informal groups, and entities to effectively counter digital rights threats and violations online. Through grants and support, we seek to foster a more inclusive and equitable digital society, united in protecting digital freedoms even amidst adversity. Join us for this informative session to learn about the DRF and how you can apply!

Mohamad Najem, Executive Director, SMEX
Joud Hasan, Fellowship & Subgrants Coordinator, SMEX

Language: Arabic


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