If you were fortunate enough to attend Social South this past weekend, and were present for Saturday’s lunch keynote, then you already know that Esra’a Al Shafei is a powerful young woman from the Middle East that has devoted all of her free time to using technology for social change. You also already know that her presentation didn’t just enlighten those that heard it, but it was a life altering experience. If you weren’t there, then you might have seen all of the chatter on twitter and many blog posts about changing the world with social media, and other personal reviews of the experience. If you are still in the dark as to what is going on, then let me urge you to read and listen to as much as you can, because just the simple telling of her story is enough to change the way you look at social media, and the way you look at your own accomplishments.

Esra’a has put her life on the line to do what she does, but she’s not bashful to associate her name with her work. She calls this honesty, I call it courage. She does take the precaution of not letting pictures or videos of her get published on the internet so that it is harder for those that might target the young activist to identify her. Therefore, her video presentation was not recorded. I have heard rumor that they made an effort to record the audio, but I am unsure when or if that will be made available on the SoSo website. Since I have been working with Esra’a for the last 2 years and have developed a friendship with her, I thought it would be nice to do a follow up interview about her experience and the reaction that it caused among the crowd at Social South, and then share it here for your listening pleasure. Listen:

http://www.tammyhartdesigns.com/audio/Esraa-soso.mp3

If you would like to contribute, then go to the Mideast Youth donate page.