10 Tactics debut screening in Iraq

10 Tactics was screened in Erbil, Iraq as part of a 5-day course on strengthening relations between media and civil society organisations at an event hosted by Iraqi Al Amal Association in cooperation with Internews Europe. The event included 15 journalists, bloggers and NGO workers. The screening of 10 Tactics at this event was initiated by Hayder Fadhil who had first been introduced to 10 Tactics at a screening by Global Voices in Beirut and by Salam 'Pax' Abdulmunem, who had requested copies of 10 Tactics to distribute in Iraq as part of the UNDP Iraq Media Project.

Hayder explains: “It's important to introduce reporters, bloggers, civil society organisations and media specialists in Iraq new ideas about information activism. This is a concept which has great importance in the development of advocacy campaigns and civil society advocacy where organisations act as a mediator between the people and government. Iraq needs such developments to happen, especially when the internet is a new world for most citizens, as is the idea of freedom of expression.

Salam agrees: “I've always found it difficult to convince people that all this talk about using new media tools in their campaigns is good and useful. Many of the examples we usually see are from other countries and regions. What really made me perk up and listen to what was being said in the 10 tactics film was the fact that there were all these Arab activists talking about their experiences and how they used these tools within their communities. This is what made me want to bring the films to Iraq and show activists and NGOs here that there are all these people who share the same cultural background as us who find the tactics and tools effective. It literally brings it home.”

The screening was received well by those who attended.

Zain, an NGO worker who acts as a trainer to support women in technology, said : “I think I can use this movie to development my skills in social networking.” 

“I saw [through 10 tactics] that new technology and social media sites have a significant impact in advocacy” added Majid Alsudani, a writer southern Iraq. 

Hussein Ali, a volunteer with the Iraqi Al Amal Associationwas most impressed with the 10 tactics stories that explained how maps had been used: “maps can have the greatest impact in the way information is shown and perceived” he said.

According to Hayder and Salam, the next task is to make sure all the materials are translated into Arabic and are distributed in Iraq: “We can not and should not assume that everyone speaks English. This limits who can benefit from all the possibilities the open web offers. The divide between those who can use computers and access the web is big enough; having materials available in local languages makes it easier for those who cross that first bridge to make the most out of the many tools the web offers.”

The good news is that the 10 Tactics Arabic DVD will be released next week and will be made available free to download from this website. Tactical Tech are now keen to find partners who can help with the creation of a 10 Tactics Arabic website and with getting these materials to local Arabic-speaking rights advocates around the world. At the same time a number of other screenings are planned for Iraq this year including one at the end of September in Erbil.

Watch a short video of this screening.

Photos: provided by Hayder Fadhil. Top: Hayder introduces 10 Tactics. Bottom: The event participants