When she was nineteen years old, Damascus-born Ala’a Basatneh put together a long-distance revolution from her home in Chicago. Inspired by the social-media-fueled revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, Ala’a used her Facebook and Twitter networks to orchestrate protests with journalists and activists inside Syria. As the Syrian civil war exploded, Bashar al-Assad imposed a media blackout, and Basatneh’s network became one of the few sources of information into or out of the country. The exploits of Ala’a Basatneh, activist Aous Al Mubarak and videographer Bassell Shahade are detailed in the 2013 documentary Chicago Girl, directed by Joe Piscatella. On June 13, 2016, Ala’a Bassatneh joined Monday Buzz host Brian Standing by phone from her current home in Miami.
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