Carmel Delshad (’11) Gathers Stories for a Web Documentary Project in Egypt

  • By CUNY J-School Staff

Carmel Delshad
Class of ’11 alum Carmel Delshad is in Cairo working on 18 Days in Egypt, a crowd-sourced web documentary chronicling the Egyptian revolution that began in 2011.

Created by Jigar Mehta and Yasmin Elayat, the project aims to to discover the stories that have yet to be told through traditional media. There are thousands of Egyptians walking around with cell phone pictures, videos, and memories from the revolution and beyond — and the 18 Days of Egypt team seeks to find those stories.

Carmel began working with 18 Days in Egypt in mid-January as a reporting fellow, uploading stories from her previous summer interning in Egypt. Shortly after she arrived in Cairo, the team of six fellows (five reporters, one social media expert) fanned out of Tahrir Square on Jan. 25 and collected stories from average Egyptians on the one year anniversary of the uprising.

Stories ranged from a man who was attacked while praying in Alexandria on Jan. 28, 2011, the “Friday of Anger”, to V (of V for Vendetta fame) heading to Tahrir Square.

Powered by GroupStream, a new platform, the website marries virtually every kind of medium in one cohesive site: users can upload pictures and video, connect their Facebook statuses and Tweets, and add videos from YouTube or pictures from Flickr. It’s a one-stop media shop that enriches the tale of the Egyptian revolution.

Carmel says her time at the CUNY J-School prepared her for her role as a reporter at 18 Days in Egypt. Framing video interviews, live Tweeting events, collaborating with a larger team — everything she practiced in her 18 months at CUNY were put to good use in Cairo. Now in her new role as a community manager, overseeing the fellows in Egypt and working on partnerships with local groups, she has built upon the networking and organizational skills taught at CUNY to help this project reach a wider audience.

The group is currently looking to expand its fellowship program for an additional six months, to a total of 20 fellows reporting from all over Egypt. You can find out more on its Kickstarter page.