Get ready for the lit.rev nightmare!



The process of conducting the literature review for any research, particularly interdisciplinary research, is very messy and complex. Not only we have to spend a long time finding the right and relevant literature to incorporate in our research, and a long time to read, but also we need to carefully read and critically evaluate each piece. It is also a never-ending process, which means we will constantly be doing this along the way until we finish the whole research project in order to keep up with the latest literature. In this post I will attempt to collect some tips and strategies of preparing for this process. Continue reading “Get ready for the lit.rev nightmare!”

The PhD delusion






So what is a PhD? is it a noble prize?

Lawton defines it as a “perfect small- scale piece of research or a worthwhile learning experience”. Whereas, as quoted in Mullins & Kiley ,”A PhD is three years of solid work, not a Nobel Prize”. Peter & Rugg describes a PhD simply as a ‘research training’ and a ‘demonstration of research competence’. Continue reading “The PhD delusion”

The F word does not exist in Arabic




I have been struggling to articulate the term Feminism in my native language (Arabic). The word itself does not exist in Arabic. Thus, the concept is commonly referred to as ‘Women’s rights’ (حقوق المرأة) and it is sometimes translated to ‘Womanism’ (النسوية) although the latter is used in academic context but not commonly used in spoken language. Continue reading “The F word does not exist in Arabic”

All what we need is an ‘Open Dialog’





Daniel Yankelovich distinguishes between dialogue, debate, discussion and deliberation. While debate aims at winning an argue, dialogue is a win-win situation. In discussions, there does not have to be equality, empathy and exploration of assumptions, whereas these three elements are essential in dialogue. Finally, deliberation is an activity that is more concerned about solving problems and making decisions, whereas in dialogue that is not the case. Continue reading “All what we need is an ‘Open Dialog’”

Why Positive Activism?




The Problem-oriented approach

As in “positive psychology” and the problem-oriented approach in traditional psychology, similarly, other applied areas including activism have been problem-focused. The problem with traditional activism is that it works similar to the media where it attracts attention to the problems and the negative aspects of the world. As a result, this constant exposure to bad news and stories can play a significant role in making people either emotionally-charged or apathy and numb. This could also affect activists and cause psychological problems such as secondary trauma stress disorder (STSD).

Continue reading “Why Positive Activism?”

Is technology the answer?







Can Technology replace social Engineering?

In his article (1966), Can Technology Replace Social Engineering?, Alvin Weinberg introduced the term technological fix to the lexicon of technology (and HCI). Weinberg remarked that although social problems are much more complex than technological problems, however, technological fixes can be applied to tackle or at least reduce social problems. To illustrate this, he discussed two examples of social problems,  Continue reading “Is technology the answer?”

If you are excellent, see a psychologist

Positive Psychology Techniques


What is wrong with psychology?

In his book “A Primer in Positive Psychology“, Christopher Peterson observed that since World War II and for 60 years now, psychology has worked with the “disease model” focusing on human problems . He remarked that this focus has yielded remarkable achievements in this field. For instance, 60 years ago, it was not possible to treat disorders, but now 14 disorders are treatable and 2 of which are curable. However, this focus, according to Peterson, lacks balance for three reasons. Continue reading “If you are excellent, see a psychologist”

Challenges of Digital Activism in Saudi Arabia


In the past few years, more citizens have opted for the online platforms where they can be active members in changing their cultures and communities. Activists, in particular, have seized this opportunity to practice their activism online, in order to have their voices heard and to reach a wider range of the society. However, Although online activism might have been legitimate in some cases, it is forbidden in others. The digital world is not as a universally free space as we might think. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, expressing one’s beliefs and calling for freedom of religions might not only be deemed as disturbing culture and religion but also considered as a criminal offence.

Continue reading “Challenges of Digital Activism in Saudi Arabia”

Technological Design and Social Justice (workshop)

“I have been lucky to be accepted to participate in a great workshop titled “Exploring Social Justice, Design, and HCI ” which is one of the workshops to be conducted in CHI conference 2016.


In this blog post, I will briefly discuss the topic of social justice and technological design. Then I will explain the role of social justice in my research. Finally, I will provide some insights and takeaway notes from the workshop.

So, what is social justice anyway? Continue reading “Technological Design and Social Justice (workshop)”