In a time when social media is such an important part of daily life and communication, Khalid Albaih’s talk about the role that social media played in so many political revolutions was exceptionally powerful. Social media was able to serve as an outlet and a forum for political and social critiques and comments to be made. Khalid was able to use technological outlets to fix and address outstanding sociopolitical issues.
I thought that the usage of art as a medium and social media as a forum was extremely effective for spreading political ideas. Albaih’s choice of art was an important one because he removed the need to translate. Visual imagery appeals to everyone and convey a message regardless of whether or not you’d speak the language that the artist spoke. Albaih was able to level the playing field and effectively communicate with a broad audience.
In a country where there wasn’t a concrete public space where people could gather and express and exchange ideas, social media was useful in providing people with the means to share. The irony lies in the fact that the government never thought that anything would come from giving their people those freedoms on the internet. I thought it was particularly impactful when Khalid spoke about how people he never knew and never met would talk to him telling him that they had used his artwork or spoke about how his artwork had impacted them. It really emphasized the broad audience that he was able to reach through social media as well as the impact that his artwork could have on spreading the messages of his political revolution.
Speaking to Khalid’s comment that he felt he “wasn’t doing enough”, I strongly disagree. While I empathize with the fact that he might feel like some people are giving so much more than he is, I still think that his role in a revolution is a crucial one. His ability to spread the message of their revolutions increases the amount of people who can stand behind their ideas. In a setting of  political unrest, the number of people behind an idea can be extremely powerful.
I admire Khalid’s bravery in these settings. Attaching your name to an idea can sometimes be terrifying, especially if it is an unpopular opinion. His story told about his arrest was both entertaining and impactful. It validated, for him, that his work was meaningful and impactful. He was a threat to authorities. Which, as a revolutionist, can be a great honor.
I found Khalid’s talk to be extremely inspiring and entertaining. He reminded us that it truly only takes a spark to start a fire. The spread of ideas is something that we are all capable of doing. Especially with a forum like social media right at our fingertips. He encouraged us all to question, to challenge, and to speak. I admire his bravery and applaud his stories. If he was truly inspired by Malcolm X as he said he was, I think Malcolm X would be proud.