In a similar manner that social media helped to catalyze the Arab Spring, Indonesians are increasingly using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reach out to others, build awareness of social issues, harness support and eventually create positive changes that the country needs.
One of the forerunners in Indonesia’s social media activism scene is Mme.Fahira Idris. Born as the daughter of real estate tycoon and former cabinet minister Fahmi Idris, the shooting sports aficionado had already carved out her own name as a successful entrepreneur before involving herself in various social enterprises in recent years. While there are plenty of other Muslimah activists around the world fighting for different issues in various ways, what’s most interesting to me about Fahira’s activism is the assortment of issues that she addresses, through both the faceless, character-limiting media of Twitter as well as direct dialogues.
In a country that is home to 29 million registered Twitter users, it is not unusual that a public figure like Fahira has followers that number up to 100,000 or more. But not as many Indonesian public figures have the guts to take an open stand on controversial issues and even fewer can further the dialogues to come up with meaningful solutions the way Fahira does. [Read more...]