Levantine Peace Through Data
Though a portion of us live in regions that don’t experience war, there are many others who live in a perpetual state of fear. One such area is the Levant. With the exception of Jordan, the Levant is always experiencing some kind of systemic violence. In Syria, decades of dictatorial rule have resulted in a bloody civil war that’s now spilling into Lebanon and threatening Turkey and Iraq.
The longest and most consistent battle in the region is of course centered in Israel/Palestine. As a result, there are some prominent, as well as lesser known groups devoted to achieving peaceful coexistence. Although a majority desires peace, political leaders in the area are mostly concerned with exacting cyclical, fatalistic revenge. War is what they know too well to let go of.
So, how might we realistically extricate ourselves from this sad reality? In other words, how might those peaceful organizations become more powerful than those warlike ones. If the 2011 Arab Spring (which is now the 2012 Arab Summer) teaches us anything, its that the Internet is an ideal platform for assembling lots of people. Facebook, Twitter and other services are excellent tools for spreading information – but beyond the raw broadcast capabilities they offer, its difficult to organize any sort of complex task. As a result, many people spill into the streets for protest, but very few actively work towards a goal.
Groups (NGOs, charities & foundations, green corps, concerned citizens) need an integrated, open platform that can:
- Link up resources
- Other people/organizations with related focus
- Supplies – raw materials, tools, transport, capital
- Information – news, academic/scientific papers, raw data, status streams (twitter/fb)
- Structure operations
- Who is where doing what, when, why and how?
- Strategize, store findings, log and schedule activity
- Scale with complexity – regardless of the amount of people/data in the network, it should remain simple to utilize
- Withstand attempts at being shut down
- Remain free and work with existing services through open APIs
The Levant suffers from not only sociopolitical crises, but ecological ones as well – the region is a microcosm of the world at large. As deeply rooted as these challenges are, there is no shortage of visionaries with a plan for how to make things happy and healthy once more. Those people need to unite not just in vision, but action. Then, true peace can much sooner replace our current state. Just ask Marley!
שלום ~ سلام