Civic Participation & Lebanon Elections – Sharek961 Launches

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Sharek961 launched today, it is the culmination of work by the civic organization Sharek961, with support from eMoksha, Meedan, Social Media Exchange and other volunteers. The site utilizes the Ushahidi platform, and incorporates the backend enhancements that were made to VoteReport.in. Sharek961′s goal is to get citizen reports about the elections which will be held on the 7th of June.
As always, there are four ways for reports to be submitted.

1. Text message to 7118 9118

2. Send an email to sharek [at] sharek961 [dot] org

3. Send a message to @sharek961 on twitter

4. Submit a form on the website.

More information on this initiative is available on the Sharek961 website, and the accompanying Ning page. Do check them out!

Its great to see the Ushahidi platform being used in this project, and we hope to get feedback on the technical challenges, customizations that were needed, and what worked for the Sharek961 team.

  1. The country has an area of 4,035 square miles, and its population is approximately 4 million. Because the matter of parity among confessional groups remains a sensitive political issue, a national census has not been conducted since 1932, before the founding of the modern state. However, the country’s leading daily newspaper, an-Nahar, published on February 10, 2005, a demographic statistical study which put the relative percentages of approximately 3 million members of the voting public as 26.5 percent Sunni Muslim, 26.2 percent Shi’a Muslim, 40.8 percent Christian (Maronites representing 21.1 percent) and 5.6 percent Druze. There has been a steady decline in the number of Christians as compared to Muslims. There are also very small numbers of Jews, Baha’is, Buddhists, and Hindus.
    There are 18 officially recognized religious groups, of which the primary ones are Muslim, Christian, and Druze. The main branches of Islam are Shi’a and Sunni. The smallest Muslim minorities are the Alawites and the Ismaili (“Sevener”) Shi’a order. The Maronites are the largest of the Christian groups. They have had a long and continuous association with the Roman Catholic Church but have their own patriarch, liturgy, and customs. The second largest Christian group is the Greek Orthodox Church (composed of ethnic Arabs who maintain a Greek-language liturgy). Other Christians are divided among Greek Catholics, Armenian Orthodox (Gregorians), Armenian Catholics, Syrian Orthodox (Jacobites), Syrian Catholics, Assyrians (Nestorians), Chaldeans, Copts, evangelicals (including Protestant groups such as the Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Friends), and Latins (Roman Catholic). The Druze, who refer to themselves as al-Muwahhideen, or “Unitarians,” are concentrated in rural, mountainous areas east and south of Beirut microsoft training. Divisions and rivalries between groups date back many centuries, and while relationships between religious adherents of different confessions are generally amicable, group identity is highly significant for all aspects of life.