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Activists send message to Obama: We want 3G

March 13, 2013 2:45 P.M. (Updated: March 16, 2013 10:13 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Visitors to Ramallah will be surprised by newly installed billboards on the main road, mainly in the section near Qalandia refugee camp after the checkpoint.

These billboards are not ads for large companies as usual, but rather messages to the US president, who will be visiting the region in less than two weeks.

“This initiative was an individual effort aimed at sending two main messages to Obama about the Palestinian people’s conditions under occupation,” says Mahir Alawneh, one of the three young Palestinian men behind the initiative.

The first message, he says, highlights the fact that the Palestinian people have been deprived of the right to have 3G telecommunication technology because they compete with Israeli companies.

“The idea crossed our minds thanks to a situation president Obama went through, when he insisted on using his BlackBerry smartphone” after his election, Alawneh says.

The messages have also popped up in recent days as ads on websites.

During his last election campaign, Obama wanted to call two campaign workers who were out working on his behalf, but when an assistant gave him an iPhone, he couldn’t get it to work. He finally replied, “Oh, I got to dial it in. Hold on, hold on. I can do this. See, I still have a BlackBerry.”

The second message, says Alawneh, is about the “disastrous situation at the southern entrance to Ramallah near Qalandia checkpoint, namely the daily traffic congestion.”

He highlighted that Palestinians who travel on that route suffer on a daily basis, simply because the Israeli authorities won’t the Palestinian government to enlarge and improve that section of the main road.

The Israelis, he said, adhere to the pretexts that the area is under fully Israeli control. However, the separation wall is a main reason of that problem, according to Alawneh.

Though very simple, the two messages explain that the Palestinian people are being deprived of several rights which to the rest of the world are necessities. He asserted that the initiative has no political dimensions.
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