Lebanese American University

Tomorrow’s Leaders

An LAU TL Student Combats the Pandemic with His Sole Weapon: Knowledge

TL Students during their semester in the United States

Since the COVID-19 has started to spread in the African continent, it seems that the flood of fake news was, like the virus, going viral; often with an additional nudge from unreliable media platforms – presenting a challenge for concerned citizens.

To that effect, Jehad Oumer, a TL student majoring in Computer Science, chose not to stand idly by, making room for fallacious information and misleading people.

Being a member of i4policy, a movement that empowers youth to address the African continent most urgent needs, Oumer and his colleagues, with the support of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)  joined forces and launched #DontGoViral, an awareness campaign involving creative people from all across the continent to crowdsource culturally relevant and openly licensed information in a local African language to translate public health information to everyone, using their everyday language.

The campaign encourages fellow artists and creatives to join the #DontGoViral and educate the community on COVID-19, ways of preventions and treatment through an edutainment platform- through creating a music ensemble, animated video or any other artistic tool and sharing it on the social media platform adding the hashtag #DontGoViral.

Oumer’s role was to volunteer his time and expertise by helping i4Policy build an open Wikimedia platform www.dontgoviral.wiki as a hub for all artistic-educative based materials which will share it to the public at large.

Oumer also took the lead in translating all materials from English into Arabic.

Being one of its kind, the #DontGoViral campaign eventually went viral through reaching more than 38 million hits on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and with more than 200+ content from 25+ countries across Africa.

« Give me a tragedy and I will show you a hero » is Oumer’s motto who is always ready for a greater challenge to serve his community.


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