Installing computers in an informal settlement


As part of the project of Virtual Activism’s Center for Knowledge Society Program, with the community development organization of 3ezbet Bekheet in Mansheyet Naser, GNU/Linux was installed in Mansheyet Nasr with the cooperation of EGLUG. Manshieyet Nasser is an informal settlement outside of Cairo, Egypt with a population exceeding 90,000.

In November 2004, Manal Bahey, Alaa Abdel Fattah, Ezabi, Mohammed Sameer and DJ-King’s laptop arrived at Mansheyet Nasr at 9 p.m. First, Ezabi and Manal set up the network, while Alaa Seif and Mohammed Sameer were installing GNU/Linux on one of the PCs in preparation of the network install.

The network installation began after midnight and they succeeded in installing Mandrake 10.1 on 9 out of the 12 pcs. Those PCS had been granted to the Community Development Organization of Ezbet Bekheit as a gift by the Ministry of Communications in Egypt two years earlier. However, they had no software and no internet and were therefore useless computers.

Installation was complete at 4 a.m, and they spent three more hours installing Arabic fonts and extra packages, showing GNU/Linux to Nasha2t and Mohammed of the CDA and closing the ducts and wrapping the cables.

Manal Hassan, Virtual Activism’s Program Officer, gave a GNU/Linux introductory course to the staff of the CDA.

  • Alaa Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Samir