I thought “Tweet and Blog” was too long, so I made it Twog :) Ok, so Simba Russeau and her fellow activists on migrant rights are organizing some events in Lebanon to raise awareness in the lead up to Labor Day. Migrants from South Asia, South-East Asia, and Africa come to Lebanon to work and often find themselves toiling under inhuman conditions without the possibility of an exit. It is, without a doubt, modern day slavery. And although there is more and more talk around it in the region, we have done little on the ground to fight the oppressive system.

And so, this Labor Day 2010, as we celebrate our right to a day off from being such hard workers, let us work to raise awareness about migrant rights in our Arab countries by blogging and tweeting. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Tweet thoughts, ideas, links to articles, and information about migrant rights intensively the week of April 24 – May 1st. Use the #migrantrights hashtag. We are not trying to trend, but we are trying to raise lots of awareness and get conversations going.
  2. Write up a blog post during the week and publicize the link on your Facebook and social networks. Send a link to simbarusseau@gmail.com who will be aggregating all blogs for the week.
  3. Recruit your friends to do the same.
  4. Think of more creative ideas like a Facebook action, shared profile pic, twibbon, etc.. and post them here in the comments or send to Simba directly.
  5. Anyone who’d like to design a badge for this campaign is very welcome.

Also, here are some ideas I had for blog posts, so that we make sure that they are not all the same:

  • Interview a migrant worker. Ask him/her about their journey here and their work here.
  • Interview a migrant worker on camera. Post his/her interview on YouTube.
  • Analyze the problem with migrant labor from a political or social perspective. Focus on either the gender aspect, the class struggle, or our inherent racism, to cite a few examples.
  • Talk about the situation in your country in particular.. what is it like for Sudanese workers in Egypt? Egyptian workers in Lebanon? Sri Lankan women in Dubai? Nepalese women in Jordan?
  • Propose solutions. Write up brainstorming posts where you think of campaigns, projects, events, programs, organizations that can work on ending the injustice.
  • Elaborate on the feminist analysis of migrant worker rights: household work as unpaid work, gender dynamics in the household, violence from women against other women, domestic violence & violence against domestic workers, sexual assault on migrant women, trafficking of migrant women, violence against women within the migrant communities, and other examples.
  • Celebrate the culture of a non-Arab country from which many migrate to Arab states. I can think of Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Philippines (but that might be just from a Lebanese experience). Post a tribute by raising your friends and followers’ awareness about the richness of these cultures, histories, languages, and music.

If you’re interested in helping to organize, get in touch and I will add you to a google ground we’ve just created for Twog organizers.