MacGyvering the Revolution: DIY Mobile Tech vs. State Power in Syria

As Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Tuesday, in a so-far vain effort to convince Assad to end his army's mass-homicidal internal offensive, GlobalPost's Annasofie Flamand and Hugh Macleod spoke with three Syrian activists, now in Turkey, for a segment on PBS NewsHour last night. One of them, Omar Maquad, a 31-year-old journalist from Daraa, gets into the cat-and-mouse game he and others like him have been playing to keep anti-government networks connected via social media, despite intensive regime efforts to shut them down -- e.g., cutting off electricity by the grid:

It was like a war, but, for us, we use our camera. And for them, they use their guns. And we need to -- to film everything for media, because we are alone inside, no one to support us, no one to film what is happening exactly in Syria. ... We got a problem with the batteries because our batteries are running out, and no electric to recharge your equipment. So, for phone calls, we create a new way. It's actually simple way to recharge your phone. We used to -- a glass of water with two batteries Duracell or something else. This already exists everywhere. We use it, keep the batteries in the water for one hour or 30 minutes. Then you put the USB adapters inside the water and start charge. That's how we charge the mobiles.

The full bit below:

Presented by

J.J. Gould is the editor of TheAtlantic.com. More

Gould has written for The Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, The Moscow Times, The Chronicle Herald, and The European Journal of Political Theory. He was previously an editor at the Journal of Democracy and a lecturer in history and politics at Yale University. He has also worked with McKinsey & Company's New York-based Knowledge Group on global public- and social-sector development and on the economics of carbon-emissions reduction. Gould has a B.A. in history from McGill University in Montreal, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in politics from Yale. He is from Nova Scotia.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Technology

Just In