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Technology is giving voice to the voiceless in Palestine, says Queen Rania at Web Summit Qatar

At Web Summit Qatar 2024, Queen Rania highlighted social media's role in allowing Palestinians to share their story with the world

Technology is giving voice to the voiceless in Palestine, says Queen Rania at Web Summit Qatar
[Source photo: Web Summit Qatar ]

On Tuesday, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, known for advocating for education and refugee rights, joined a star-studded lineup of speakers at the ongoing Web Summit in Doha. 

Speaking at the conference, she highlighted social media’s role in allowing Palestinians to share their story with the world, and hailed technology as a way to “give voice to the voiceless.” 

“One of the most fascinating things about technology is its ability to reveal human nature. The way we interact with our devices tells us a lot about ourselves. We are, by nature, storytellers. It’s how we make sense of the world. For decades, one person’s story has been obscured and relegated to a footnote in a narrative authored by someone else. It is the story of Palestine,” she said.

Fast forward to today, and Palestinians have become the focus of the world via phone screens. “Three-quarters of a century since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict began, millions around the world are getting their first glimpse at what it means to be a Palestinian today. In the wake of the war in Gaza, many of us have seen our social media landscapes redrawn,” she added.

The war in Gaza, 140 days in so far, has been live-streamed to the world led by Motaz Azaiza, Plestia Alaqad, and Bian Owda, to name a few.

“Many in the West have been left with an uneasy sense that the Palestinian issue isn’t as black and white as they have been led to believe, that they didn’t have the whole story,” said Queen Rania.

“This is at once a tragic and a transformational moment for the people of Palestine. Just as their lives crumble around them, people connect with them everywhere. People are mobilizing for Palestine in unprecedented numbers,” she added.

Digital technology, frequently criticized for impeding the pursuit of justice by deleting vital evidence, is a vital mechanism in documenting the atrocities and the Palestinian cause, but those speaking up and posting on social media platforms are often censored. She said their accounts are suspended or deleted, citing the content being shared as harmful.

“It can be nearly impossible to prove that you have been shadow-banned or censored. Yet, it is hard for users to trust platforms that control their content from the shadows based on vague standards. The people of Gaza have never been more connected, yet never more isolated. Cut off from food, water, medicine, fuel, everything required to sustain human life. They have continued to reach for their phones, to reach for us.” 

She urged a ceasefire, hostages on both sides to be released, and people to speak up and amplify their solidarity.

The Innovation By Design Summit is in Doha on April 24. Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Delegates can register here to receive their exclusive invite.

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