Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Communications (M.S.)

Degree Program

School of Communications


In the last few years, the Arab world has been shifting to new technology, particularly social media, to create new connections and spaces for public engagement. This technology has opened new prospects in freedom of expression, especially in political reforms. Through the recent Arab Spring events, social media platforms have been helping cyberactivists for social changes. The 2011 Egyptian revolution is a prime example to show how social media platforms were used to ignite strikers and overthrow the autocratic regime. At the same time, the number and size of diasporas in the Middle East are increasing. Yet scholars have not explored how diasporic communities in the region are engaged with recent political changes, namely the Arab Spring.

This study reports the results of interviews with Egyptians living in Saudi Arabia during the 2011 Egyptian revolution in order to explore how that diaspora used social media platforms during that time. Grounded theory is used to analyze these interviews. The study concludes that social media was a proper platform for the Egyptian diaspora to collect new political information, connect with people in Egypt, and discuss and share it with people in their homeland and other communities. This Egyptian diaspora used social media to sustain strong ties to people in their homeland, increase their sense of political participation, and to confirm political activity in their homeland.