rabab azzam

Country/area: Egypt

Organisation: assafirarabi

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 02/07/2021

Credit: nahla chahal, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation


I work in the press with the beginning of the events of the January 25, 2011 revolution, and I covered and monitored all the events in the field, then I worked for the Egyptian radio for a year only, after that I joined to work in many newspapers, but for political reasons I was fired several times, because I support the rights of journalists minorities and women.
I am interested in working on the work file, workers and ethnic minorities.

Project description:

Some places on the Egyptian sociosanitary map receive no real official attention; they are home to rapid viral spreads and result in the majority of infections, according to estimates provided by doctors who work in Covid-19 designated hospitals: unofficial housing areas known as “shantytowns”. Deprived of any social or economic care, their impoverished residents have been devastatingly infected with the virus, as their lifestyle exposes them to many risks

The text presents in numbers the conditions of the poor and Shantytowns and how the government dealt with them during the Corona pandemic.

Impact reached:

Official authorities denied what was mentioned in the text, but officials in hospitals and local places appreciated the project, and cooperated with citizens in an attempt to improve conditions, and youth groups went to work on educating the poor about the dangers of Corona and trying to adhere to precautionary measures.
The project also contributed to the knowledge of the Arab reader from different countries about the conditions of the population in Egypt at the time of Corona, and how the Egyptian government cannot extend a helping hand to them.


Techniques/technologies used:

I worked on using and analyzing official statistics, and linking them with data issued by unofficial civil organizations. I also referred to historical and social sources, and personal interviews, and encountered a lack of transparency in receiving data due to the difficult press situation in Egypt.
and use:
– global open data index
Data of the Central Agency for Official Statistics
National Maps
 – Location data
– Government Budget

– Crowdsourcing for journalists
– google newslab
– Bing
– Watching for trends
– Google earth

What was the hardest part of this project?

The most difficult part was the difficulty of verifying the data, especially with the deteriorating security conditions for journalists in Egypt, as well as the difficulty of conducting personal interviews with citizens in poor areas, due to their lack of cooperation for fear of police prosecution.
It’s also my first project in data journalism, and I’ve tried to learn on my own, because I work as a freelance journalist and I don’t have enough financial resources to take structured courses.

What can others learn from this project?

They can learn about how to collect, categorize, verify and then analyze data and come up with a result that is relevant to the community, especially since this type of journalism has not yet spread in Egypt, despite the availability of a huge amount of data and information.
They can also quote ideas about poor areas and bad conditions, contrary to what the government shows

Project links: