What constitutes a pass-along-to-your-coworkers video these days? Often a cute child or furry animal. Well a video I came across this week fit one of those criteria — but not in the way you might expect. In this clip eight-year-old Juju looks straight into the camera and tells Egypt’s President Mubarak why he’s got a problem on his hands.
In general, we — as news-reading, Twitter-using JHU Masters candidates — are exposed to numerous political messages daily. These can range from a detailed political analysis on a Think-tank website, to an overview of a new law in the daily paper, to a Tweet from an your Congressman. But for the most part, the messages are provided by an educated authority on the subject. Someone who presumably knows more about the topic at hand then you do. In all these situations, in my opinion, the natural inclination is to look for the further implications or impending results of said political message.
Yet, I think one of the reasons this video became so popular — with nearly 224,000 in less than one week — is Juju’s simple, sincere and innocent approach to a crisis that is affecting millions. As is standard for a child, her schoolyard sense of right and wrong kicked in and she told it like she saw it. As Mashable put it, “If you have kids or know them well, you’ll recognize the innate sense of fairness that every 8-year-old can plainly feel in any situation. Let them vote, let somebody else have a turn. Didn’t we all learn this in kindergarten?”
Her message is a refreshing point of view that breaks the tense political situation down to its simplest parts. My favorite part, as was for many people online, is her sly whisper to Mubarek: “Some of your police officers removed their jackets and they’re joining the people.”
This is just another example of how digital media is giving a voice to people who otherwise would not be heard. Without Twitter and YouTube, the political musings of a random eight-year-old Saudi girl would not reach farther than her living room and thousands of protesting Egyptians would lack a public voice during this historic moment in time.
Give it a watch and tell me why you think her testimony reached so many.