x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Meet the man behind the MorsiMeter

The Life: Abbas Adel Ibrahim is one of the founders of the Morsi-Meter, a simple website that tracked the first 100 days of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in office.

Abbas Adel Ibrahim is a software engineer at a telecoms company in Cairo, but develops websites and apps in his spare time. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Abbas Adel Ibrahim is a software engineer at a telecoms company in Cairo, but develops websites and apps in his spare time. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National

Abbas Adel Ibrahim is one of the founders of the Morsi- Meter, a simple website that tracked the first 100 days of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in office. Mr Ibrahim is a software engineer at a telecoms company in Cairo, but develops websites and apps in his spare time.

 

Where did the MorsiMeter idea come from?

The idea came from the results of the presidential election. The president's promises in 100 days, he had a clear plan for them. We developed the website in six hours after the results were announced and launched it on the same day.

 

What was the response?

It was crazy. The website was up at 4am and by 6am the website crashed because of the number of visitors. We had 250,000 visitors in that time and more than 50,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook. We stopped counting the number of visitors after the first 100 days, but it has exceeded millions.

 

How significant has this been?

We wanted to enrich the political environment in Egypt, to empower democracy and the transition in Egypt, to engage people after the election and so we created the website. We follow up on what is happening and people follow up on what he [Morsi] is doing. It is amazing, people started following the website on a daily basis.

 

What was the reaction from the president's office?

In less than two weeks of the launch, we received an invitation from the presidential office to make it more accurate. They have provided us with weekly updates.

 

Why has it been so successful?

It is a one-page website. Anyone that can use the internet can access it. It is simple and is available on a mobile version, we have an app as well.

 

With no advertising, are you making any money out of www.morsimeter.com?

We can make money out of it. A lot of international organisations offered us funding. When we launched the website a lot of people attacked us and said we were working with the Muslim Brotherhood, some said we were working with the old regime. We had to be clear and focused and balanced and decided not to accept any money.

 

What's next for Morsimeter?

We have five people working on this project. We have received requests for meters from Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Jordan, Mauritania. We have created a platform that anyone can use. We also want to create a meter for the rest of the president's four years, but he doesn't have a clear plan for what he is going to do, so we have to meet up with some of the politicians to make a list of the plans to follow up on.

 

And what's next for you guys?

We have many ideas, we have other projects too. One of them, Zabatic, which is Arabic for "you are busted", is a platform to report crime and corruption using mobile, SMS, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. We take these reports and put it on a map and analyse where is most corrupt. Most of the crimes happen in the rich areas of Cairo. The most common type of crime just after the revolution was mugging in the streets, then building illegal buildings, then stealing cars.

 

thamid@thenational.ae