Core 2096 Final Reflection

//Hey! this is an actual C++ code, RUN IT HERE:





using namespace std;

int main() {
cout << “Welcome to Core 2096 Reflection :)” << endl;

cout << endl << “This is a reflection on the course, hope you enjoy it ^_-” << endl;

string useful[] = { “I developed Some Communication Skills”, “I Made New Friends”, “I learned alot about Copyright, the topic that me and my group presented” };

string activites[] = { “Soliya, which for me was a great experience despite the weaknesses I explained before”, “Group Discussions were interesting :)” };

string changes[] = { “Soliya can be a bit more organized”, “Getting feedback and grades regularly” };
string description = “This is a moderate workload funny quite interesting course!”;
cout << endl << “The Most Useful Things I learned in the Course Are: ” << endl << endl;

for (int i = 0; i < 3; i++) {

cout << i + 1 << “- ” << useful[i] << endl;

cout << endl << “The Most Interesting Activities We Had During the Course: ” << endl << endl;
for (int i = 0; i < 2; i++) {

cout << i + 1 << “- ” << activites[i] << endl;

cout << endl << “The Changes that I see might help make the course more useful are: ” << endl << endl;

for (int i = 0; i < 2; i++) {

cout << i + 1 << “- ” << changes[i] << endl;

cout << endl << “I can describe the course in one sentence saying: ” << description << endl;

cout << endl << endl << “Thank you!  :))” << endl;


return 0;


Reflection on the Soliya Program


It is my first time to be engaged in a connect program such as Soliya. Soliya was a different experience than my other online communication for a couple of reasons. Firstly and most significantly, we do not choose the people with whom we are to connect, for example we did not choose any certain identification for the people in our groups, we do not have a chance to change other group members or move to another group if we did not like the current group -as far as I know-. I am not judging whether it is a privilege or not. It has some advantages and some disadvantages. From the advantages that I noticed is that being put in such a situation teaches us to adapt in different settings and learning how to compromise with conditions that we can not change.  On the other hand, compromising might not be the choice of some people and they have the right to choose it so they would face a difficulty having to be in a setting they do not prefer. Second difference which is not so significant, I sometimes felt I am attending a class. Although the facilitator was very friendly as well as the group members, I kept feeling this which made me sometimes less comfortable.

I am someone who spends pretty much time on social media occasionally but I barely share something, just watching what is going around. During the sessions of Soliya, I had to share 🙂. Specially when some one puts me on the spot asking me about something about my country or my culture, I do not have a chance not to answer. Or when everyone is asked to share their experience about something if they had any. I was not upset by having to share but had it been a different setting I would not choose to share as the usual me. in conclusion to this part, I was more sharer of information during the program than before which is not bad since again I do choose what I share.

  Now I want to share some of the topics that we discussed and interested me the most. During the very first session we were asked to write down 7 aspects that we see define who we are. Some of us said that religion is part of who we are and we had an interesting debate whether it is or not. I liked debating on such controversial stuff. I also enjoyed talking about politics and problems in our national homes. We also shared some food habits and some dishes during a session which was cool.

One last note, two hours were too much for a session in my opinion. I think 90 minutes are sufficient. And there could be some specified time before the start of the session to check for the technical issues. Because if someone has a good internet connection while some others do not, the first will have to wait for some time at the beginning of the session so that everyone’s connected.

Fake News Recognition


I used to believe the stories I was being told or the ones I read on the web. I did not use to doubt things since my basic assumption was that people do tell the truth and a minority of them lie. This innocent approach had of course changed after being on the web for one or two years. I realized that some people had extremely weird motivations to make up stories and push other people to believe them. So my first assumptions had dramatically changed. I now assume that what I read is not correct till it is found to be correct. I am not satisfied with this approach because doubting everything makes me not feel comfortable and verifying the news was such an exhaustive and time consuming process to the extent that I sometimes preferred not to believe the stuff I read than spending too much time in deciding whether it tends to be true or not. The article “Recognition Is Futile: Why Checklist Approaches to Information Literacy Fail and What To Do About it” by Mike Caulfield, The author introduces a nice method for verifying  the news, the method is so practical. Its steps are finely arranged so that the decision of whether the news tends to be true or not can be taken in each step. The method is named the “Four Moves” since it is composed of four steps. The first is to check whether the news is covered by a reputable source or not. If it is, then there is a higher probability that the news is correct. The second step is to follow the links of the news in case of not finding a reputable source covering it. If this attempt links to the original source reporting the story and this source seems to be credible, then the probability of the correctness of the story is higher. Thirdly, if the credibility of the original source is hard to detected, then one must resort to reading the source laterally in attempt to use the information around the source such as it agenda or expertise to determine its credibility. The last step is to circle back and research using different terms with the information we had about the source so far.

To know a limited amount of true information beside a systematic practical way of verifying information is better than having too much mixed information. The method introduced by the author is pretty much interesting and I am planning to use it.




Engage MOOC, Week III:

Modifying the Education Process: Reflection on CLT Anniversary Event

Education is a complicated process, I believe that both the instructor and the student should exert great efforts. The Co-design Session was my first experience talking explicitly to professors about how I see the educational process and the flaws I see need to be modified. After getting introduced to each other, we were given a set of cards with some a question on each. We were asked about the faculty motivation and demotivation factors, what helps us be more attentive in class,… Some of the  demotivating factors we as students mentioned were professors indifference about the students and their performance, the faculty members being inefficient in terms of explaining the subjects, faculty members spending a quit long time speaking about themselves in attempt to show off and minimizing students’ position. On the other hand, from among the motivation factors, we mentioned a strong connection between the student and the professor, moderate work load and bonus points for sure :).  Another interesting question was about what motivates us to try hard to do our best in our classes. We said they are the passion and our interest in our majors and the desire to learn more, the professor being knowledgeable and using an interesting way to deliver the information, trying to do good to get high grades.  The professors had answered similar questions. They said they are motivated when they see the students being attentive in class and show interest in the subject. Some of them said that they get irritated when students come to class late and when students use their mobile phones during the class. A professor mentioned a nice way to over come the later problem. she gives the students a two-minute break to use their phones during the class, but other than those two minutes, they can’t use it. Regarding the coming to class late issue, a professor said that she makes a quiz/ a bonus quiz at the beginning of the class in order to -kind of- force the students to come on time. I did not like the idea and I mentioned my experience in coming to class late. I had an 8:30 class and I was usually late. The professor used to do the quizzes in the first 10 minutes of the class, and I almost missed every quiz, losing 10% of the total grade of the course. I am not being proud of coming late and I respect the professors right to have the students in class on time, but I am just offended with forcing them to come on time this way. We did not have time to go through all the questions in the cards, however, the conversation we had was fruitful and interesting.

Soliya Reflection I

I liked the experience till now. Getting directly introduced to people from different cultures and having the chance to directly ask abut any cultural aspect is something that I see useful and enjoyable. In the first meeting we introduced ourselves and we did an identity activity. We were required to select 7 aspects that describe our identity. From among us, there were 5 Arab Muslims, 4 of which mentioned being a Muslim as part of the identity. We had went through an interesting debate whether religion is to be considered an identity aspect or not. I liked the debate but unfortunately we did not have time to conclude. For the second meeting, we had to prepare a post that attracted us on social media and mention why we were touched. During the meeting, we were divided into groups of twos or threes to discuss what we came up with. This was interesting too. Then we had an open discussion. Someone asked that everyone else explain how the educational system in his country works. Then a question was directed to the two US participants about Donald Trump’s deeds, we also talked a bit about politics in Egypt. We spent some good time talking about politics and I liked the conversation. The experience is generally useful and interesting for me.


Intersectionality and Violence against Women

Having read the article “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics And Violence Against Women of Color” by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, according to my own understanding from what the author means by intersectionality, I can say that author wants to highlight the other subtle reasons why women are subject to discrimination and violence, stating that male domination is not the only reason behind that. There exist other social and economic reasons contributing to the  obstacles women in color face. According to the article, most women of color who were subject to battering are unemployed and have so many burdens such as child care and lack of money. If we look at their cases generally, one might think that the abusive relationship in which they are involved is the major reason behind their suffering, but actually this is not the case. If the society had offered equal opportunities to women of color as it offers to white women -education and employment opportunities- they could have been more independent and could live by their own without having the constant need of a spouse. And there are no actual solutions to the problem because the underlying reasons are not even addressed.

I do not think that the issue of color is a big deal contributing to women suppression in the Egyptian society if we are limited to the Egyptian women. However, women are subject to other numerous discriminatory behaviors. Many women are subject to violence by their spouses and even some non-married girls are subject to violence by their their male relatives. The Egyptian society had developed -along the past decades or even the last century- a norm that divorce is shameful and that women should not resort to it whatever they face. They had to endure to keep their family -looking- coherent and to be able to raise the children. Many women, specially from poor areas where women are not likely to join high education, hence are not like to have decent well paid jobs had to suffer a lot and keep being silent because there is nothing to be done.

I did not encounter a real life issue of violence against women of color, since I think this is not a significant issue among the Egyptian people in Cairo, however, a couple of years ago, I was conducting a research about female Sudanese refugees in Egypt. The Sudanese refuges are subject to more than one kind of discrimination and subordination. They had great difficulties seeking asylum in Egypt and getting recognized as official refugees. They had problems registering their children in an Egyptian education system -due to the limited places in the Egyptian schools and due to the bullying the children face from their Egyptian comrades- since the great majority of them can’t afford private education. The problem associated with the female refugees were mostly centered around employment and discrimination from the Egyptians. The female Sudanese used to work as maids or work in plaiting hair. They are not paid good amounts of money. Three years ago, I have witnessed a bullying situation for non-Egyptian black-skinned women in the Metro. Five or six black-skinned women were harassed and insulted by some Egyptian young ladies. They were not able to defend themselves since they are a minority in a foreign country.

Non-complementary Behavior

I do not think I had personally went through a non-complementary behavior, but I remember a situation that happened to someone I know. It was during the night and he was attacked by two men who wanted to steal money from him, and they had a knife with which they tried to attack him. He is very good at more than one of the martial arts, so he was able to professionally snatch the knife from them. And by the end of the night they were all eating together and he willingly  gave them all the money he had. The men promised not to do that again.

Digital Narrative Games Reflection

Spent Game:

Spent game is an interesting one. However, what makes it sometimes really tough is the limited options that we ought to choose from. Sometimes, the choices available are not all the possible solutions out there, maybe there are other ways out. But I think this is done for a purpose. Maybe we ought to learn from this that we might be in a situation where we only see some limited ways out, but we do not realize that there could be other options. For example, in the game, there was that situation where the child is performing at school and the parent can either attend his child’s performance or go to work to gain money for their living. When I chose that the parent should skip the performance and go earn a living, the result was that this causes weak relationships between the parents and their children. However, I do not think this is always the case. I believe we have to take some hard decisions to face the circumstances, and I also believe that there are ways to make up what is missed. In this particular example, the family could go for a picnic in the weekend and the parent could ask the child to perform again and they all have fun. This might not be the same as if the parent attended the performance at the school, but it could satisfy the children and make them feel that his parents do care about them and have time for them even if they are going through tough circumstances. Another example is that in which you are to choose either to send your child to a birthday party with a present that costs a certain amount of money or send the child without a present or not to send him/her -as far as I recall- but I think there are other options that are cost less than the specified amount for the present and in which the child will enjoy. A possible way out is that the parent help the child make a homemade present, something very simple that would definitely cost less. In addition, the child will enjoy the preparing it with the parent, in addition to joining the party and having fun. One more example, it was that question in which you are asked to contribute 20$ helping a co-worker who is ill, the available options are to contribute or to lie saying that you forgot your wallet, but there is another option that might sound harsh but it does not  include lying. It is simply choosing not to contribute. By having the not contributing option as “lying”, it makes me feel that I have to contribute and I am to blame myself if I did not. And this is not true since I do not have to contribute.

BBC Syrian Refugees:

The game is scary but I liked it. The most difficult thing is that I am not deciding only for myself but also for my family. When I played the game the first time, I made sure that I chose the least risky paths to ensure the security of my family and myself. Sarcastically, I liked that when I chose to follow the path through Turkey, the final result was that the family survived and reached the destination, but when I played once more and changed my answers to take the path through Egypt, it ended up with the family being left in the desert.

Seeing the first question about the gender, I actually thought that the paths would have have some choices that depend on the nature of women being more emotional and so. But I did not find this. May be because I did not try all the possible paths, or may be it is just not considered in the game. If it is not considered in the game, I think it would have been worth to add it making the game more difficult and the player more stressed. But this is not guaranteed, since if the player is a male, and he just continues playing, he might forget his being a female – regardless of how weird this phrase is :)- and he would not have this carefulness that I believe women usually have.


From the very first moment, I really liked the graphics of the game. I liked that almost everything was in black except for a slight moon light AND the rockets and the gunshots. I think it also pointed out that there is no electricity in Gaza. I liked that the game provides different languages, so that the message reaches as many people as possible. I also liked the notification at the beginning of the game that it would be better to turn off the lights and put the headphones, but I could not and kept a slight light :). The game itself is difficult, I took nearly 3-4 minutes to pass the truck level and I lost like 4-5 times, I was just put under a stress that I need to pass this thing before I am hit by a rocket or so, I can hear the sounds but I do not know when exactly it is gonna hit. I reached a level where I did not know where to go and there was no instructions, so I have to discover if there is some existing thing I could use and so on. But the game is really hard and I am almost always in a serious danger. I felt helpless, when I am by my own trying to survive, I do not have any assisting tools and I am alone, nobody is helping me, just trying to escape or survive, I can’t defend or hit back, rather than that, I can’t even resist!

Sleep-deprived Mom:

The game is pretty interesting. I have three nephews and I thought I knew enough about children. But it is never enough as long as I do not actually live with them. I felt that the choices provided in the game are pretty much close to what I see from my nephews specially the right-before-sleep part. When they stay overnight, they keep asking me for telling them stories, drinking or eating something or watching a cartoon or so. I think the game needs more negotiation situations to be added. It takes time and effort from the mother as well.

Defying Gender Rules:

I liked the game. The situation presented are carefully selected so that the greatest average of the the Egyptian girls had went through. But I did not like the polarity that existed in some choices as if the two choices are contradicting each other when they are not. For example, the phase when it is time to graduate and the options are getting married or focusing on your career. I did not like this division because it make it seem like marriage is something that is hindering you from reaching your career goals and that you are not supposed to choose it. Moreover, I think both things can be done at the same time successfully. One last note, I think some of the pictures attached are not appropriate for the situation described. The photo below for example expresses violence while the situation is way simpler than that!





Polarization and Gated Communities in Egypt

Having read “Power, Polarization and Tech” , it reminded me of how the gated communities companies do use the concept of polarization in marketing for their compounds. They have attempted to spread the idea that people who are alike according to some standards -that are set by the society itself- should get gathered away from the “others” who do not resemble them. An example of using polarization in marketing for gated communities in Cairo is a series of ads made by Mountain View. This series of ads highlights the idea that everyday-interaction with the so-called ordinary people is something annoying and that people should avoid it whenever they can. The first attached ad shows an extreme image of interaction between the lady and her neighbors and on the other side it plays on the “privacy” that she is going to enjoy if she moves to the compound.




Same idea is applied in the second ad; ‘this crowded with too many annoying people place is not the right one for your children, move to Mountain View where your children could be with whom who are similar to them’.

I personally feel sometimes that people who live in gated communities are a bit confined. They miss a lot of experience that they could learn just from interacting with people, ordinary people, situations that are not likely to happen in a gated community!

Moreover, some social values are lost while people are moving to gated communities, a very trivial example is a cool tradition that used to exist in the Egyptian society and is about to fade is sharing food between the neighbors usually in the occasions especially during Ramadan and the feasts. This tradition used to bring people together and strengthen their relationships although being very simple. And this tradition almost does not exist in gated communities since people might think it is a low-class activity and that a dinner invitation would be a more appropriate way of approaching their neighbors since it ‘looks better’, in case they felt the need of such a relationship. People in gated communities are far from each other or at least are not close to each other as people who do not.