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The Revolution Will Be Skyped: Libyan Rebels Take To Skype, Chat With Students

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Here’s something you don’t hear every day: Libyan rebels hopped on Skype on Friday, to chat remotely with a roomful of Lehigh University students and faculty.

The video conference lasted about an hour, reports the Chronicle for Higher Education, and covered such topics as why the rebels did what they did, and what sort of democratic government they’d like to create in the event of Colonel Qaddafi’s deposition. “We are not armed creeps or terrorists,” said one of the rebels, Issa Hakim. “Necessity requires that we fight.”

Why Lehigh, of all places? Hakim was a graduate student in engineering there. When the rebellion began, he decided to return to his country to volunteer in the rebel army. Hakim’s professors and fellow students have been watching the news carefully with a personal concern since then; the Skype-in on Friday was moderated by Hakim’s adviser, John P. Coulter, according to the Chronicle.

Libya’s rebels, like those in other Middle East countries, have made headlines partly for their tech-savviness. Recently, they were able to hack phones. And Skype wasn’t the only program they used on Friday. To illustrate their case for the overthrow of Qaddafi, they used a tool very familiar to the Lehigh students: a PowerPoint presentation.

[Image: Ryan Hulvat/Lehigh]

Follow Fast Company on Twitter. Email David Zax, the author of this post, or follow him on Twitter.

Read More: Libya, YouTube, and the Internet

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