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Kickstarting a hackerspace in Iraq (boingboing.net)
129 points by jebagu on Sept 16, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments



Iraq apparently has a thriving market for folks who hack IEDs (looking at the creativity in their design is a testament to that). I probably get one or two inquiries a month from folks who are looking to make a "garage door opener that is hard to interfere with" from folks with IPs in that area (Libyia/Iran/Iraq/Saudi Arabia). I'm sure there is a huge garage door opening problem but I cannot in good conscience respond as effectively as I might like to someone who is really curious about wireless controls.

Part of the hacking ethic for me, and granted mine arose more from curiosity than some external motive of profit or 'lulz', is something along the Hippocratic oath of not doing harm. I would hope such a hackerspace in Iraq would have that as a pre-requisite for using the facilities, but I realize that one person's terrorism is another person's overthrow of oppression. I try to step out when it gets to debating the greater good.



If you take a step back, "kickstarting a hackerspace" sounds like a phrase people might make up ten years from now to make fun of our time's silly jargon. Tubular to the max!


Sounds like some awful bit of technobabble from a Cory Doctorow novel... oh, no, wait.


Glad to see this finally getting some press. I submitted it to tc, but got no response back. This is definitely a situation for those of you who believe technology is a means of self-improvement, to put your money where your mouth is.

Make me pay my pledge. I dare you.


Looks like the KS is going to end soon and needs some luvin to make it happen. Spread on your networks. I just donated and posted around.


I know Bilal. He is a really great guy and has done so much for the community here in Ann Arbor. I am sure this will be a great success if it gets funded. I have backed the project and you should too.


Likewise - Bilal is an awesome person who deeply feels his cause, and has a great passion for building community.


Such an incredible way to make a difference! Being a part of a hacker space in Los Angeles has changed the course of my life. This is good work!


Which hackerspace? I've had a hard time finding one.


Seems like this guy has a good track record and has several successful projects under his belt. Backed it!


Would've been better to link to the actual kick starter page -http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bilal/baghdad-community-... where people can take action. Instead of boingboing blogspam version.


One thing that instantly got to me looking at this, is not seeing a single female. Knowing that the gender equality situation in many middle eastern countries is less than ideal, I wonder what their policy on women coming to, and using the space is. Then again, they seem to only be trying to use a space for a day or two and want the community to make one from there, and I imagine it would be difficult to push for a more progressive idea when it's out of your hands like that.


We are already thinking about those ideas and trying to tackle them in the ways we can (more ideas are welcome)... In the Beirut Hackerspace (where Bilal, the guy from the kickstarter is also helping get the project up and running) on the first few workshops we had a clay workshop and a silk screen printing workshop where the ratios were 50-50 which hopefully will help close the gap in the gender ratio in such geek oriented initiatives.

Here are some pics from those workshops http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=401814289872014&s...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=401814389872004&s...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=402180926502017&s...


Not a single female? There are 3 in the still picture of the video before you hit play. None wearing veils, even, and one in bright yellow, so I'm not sure how you missed them unless you were trying to.


In addition to the initial photograph, check @55 seconds on the right. In general, I think educated people tend to have more moderate views. Think of this as helping to promote life long education.


True, but given the country's situation, it would already be good if some guys could get going and then improve the situation from there.




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