Community blog note: This post re-launches a new series called GVer of the Week where each Wednesday, we'll feature a different community member who has been nominated by one of their colleagues. If you wish to nominate someone to be featured here, please complete this form.
Originally from Jordan and Spain, Mariam Abuadas has long known about Global Voices from her time as part of our extended network. It wasn't until 2019 where she became an active contributor to the Global Voices in Arabic and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) teams thanks to the encouragement of GV's Lingua Manager. In this email interview, Mariam shares more about her interests, motivations, and further expands on why she thinks GV especially plays an important role in the MENA region.
Global Voices: What do you do outside GV? What are your other interests?
I have recently moved to Canada, and the last few months I have been focusing on my family life. Helping my children transition smoothly and adapt to a new life, place, and new normal. I am also working on a new media project with my partner Naseem Tarawnah, which takes up much of my time lately.
GV: What’s one surprising thing about you?
I have a deep interest in the impact technology has on Arab societies specifically, and the role language plays in that dynamic. For instance, over the past two years, I became completely absorbed by Blockchain technology and the solutions it could provide to solve various challenges in the MENA region. I recently helped publish a technical guide on the topic in Arabic as I believe it could prove useful for young Arabs to have access to information on emerging technologies like Blockchain, in the Arabic language.
GV: What do you want people to know about the place you live?
I'm still new to Canada, and getting to know it during a global pandemic has been pretty challenging. But so far, my biggest surprise has been just how diverse and generally peaceful Canadian society is. It's one thing to hear it described, and quite another to be immersed in a place that brings together such a multitude of backgrounds.
GV: How did you find GV and get started as a contributor?
I have been part of the GV sphere since the very beginning as it played an important role in elevating the voices from the MENA blogging scene. In 2019, I became very passionate about the idea of contributing positively and effectively to transparency and representation in the region's media, and contacted Mohamed Gohari to discuss how I could best contribute to GV's work.
GV: Why do you think GV is important?
GV plays an essential role in providing a platform for independent voices from the region to reach a global audience.
GV: How did GV change your view of the world?
Being a GV contributor during the COVID-19 pandemic was especially an eye-opening experience. At the beginning I was frustrated because of the severe lack of information about the virus coming out of the MENA Region, and so I focused on working with the Lingua team to disseminate as much useful content in Arabic as possible in order to raise public awareness. This work helped reveal to me critical information gaps in the public sphere, be it worldwide or in Arabic-speaking communities.
Follow Mariam on Twitter at @mariamadas.