Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 April 2020

Lebanese in the UAE decry ‘I am Alive’ app for bombing aftermath

A new app sends out a tweet letting users know their loved ones are safe after a bombing in Lebanon.

DUBAI // A new app to reassure loved ones of your safety in the event of an explosion in Lebanon was released this week.

The “I am Alive” app sends out a tweet to the world with the hashtags #Lebanon #LatestBombing to let the users’ friends and family know they are safe after the explosion.

Most Lebanese residents in the UAE said the app was “sad” and a strange idea to come up with.

“It’s a bad idea,” said Jean-Marc Garabedian, from Dubai. “When a tragic event occurs, all I think about is informing my parents that everything is fine. But will my parents download the app? Do they even know what an app is?”

He said his friends usually used Whatsapp groups to let each other know they were safe.

“I feel sad about apps like these,” Mr Garabedian said. “I am not a fan of people taking advantage of tragic situations to make a profit and I hope it doesn’t gain popularity. We, the Lebanese people, do not want to be reminded about these horrible events and have them engraved in our memories and this app does just that.”

Karim Haddad, from Abu Dhabi, also thought the app was just a money-making venture.

“Instead of creating apps for entrepreneurial projects, we’re creating apps to say that we’re still alive. It might get popular for a while because the situation in Lebanon is not going to improve.”

Dana El Kalache, from Dubai, said she was shocked. “It means bombings have become a routine now.”

She said although she understood its usefulness, she found it strange.

“I usually go on Whatsapp to message everyone and check on them,” Ms El-Kalache said. “But if someone actually dies, it’s really not a good way to find out.”

Amer K, a Dubai resident, said the app was not useful.

“I think it’s reality and people are always worried about each other but I don’t think it will gain popularity,” he said. “They had a similar app when people were burning tires to avoid blocked roads, which is more useful. But if you don’t use this app, will people assume you’re dead? Politicians definitely won’t use it either because it’s a security concern for them.”

He said the app added no value as people would always call and check up on each other.

cmalek@thenational.ae

Updated: January 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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