Information and Communication Technologies – and Culturally Sensitive Systems
Nancy Michail, Greg Teal, Jehan Basta
This paper discusses the perceptions of Egyptian minority groups in relation to internet information technology with which they feel empowered to protect, affirm and communicate their oppressed existence, on local and global dimensions. The research employs qualitative methods and interpretive analysis, to focus on the use of Internet information technology tools by Egyptian minority groups, in particular, their online platforms and chat rooms, and the related issues associated with these practices and usages. The paper argues that cyberspace is used by specific minority groups in Egypt as a “gateway to freedom” in which it constitutes an ally to establish newly founded cyber identities that aide them to exercise their basic human rights of freedom of thought, speech and expression. The paper thus examines cyberspace a medium or tool for the carrying out of information exchange without the traditional fear of politics and power that is deeply engraved in the roots of the Egyptian culture. In this way, these minority groups are analysed as the newly conceived human information systems (HIS) residing on Internet information technology and infrastructure. The paper proposes an adaptive and culturally sensitive model of human information systems as well as human information systems development life cycle (HISDLC) to aid in establishing effective processes of information exchange and creation, hence assisting in the emancipation of conflicting parties residing in Egypt, elsewhere in the Middle East and globally.