Ireli youth union focusing on IT

Wed 08 Jun 2011 08:42 GMT | 12:42 Local Time

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News.Az interviews Rauf Mardiyev, secretary general of the Ireli public union.

The Ireli public union attaches special importance to information technology. Why is this?

Since its foundation, Ireli has been engaged in work of importance which brings benefits to society. Young people are the most active part of society and they have special interest in and enthusiasm for IT. This is why Ireli pays special attention to IT. 

What does Ireli's IT centre do?

The activities of the centre can be divided into two: education of young people and the protection of Azerbaijan’s interests in the virtual world. Over 100 projects have been carried out in these two areas in the past six years.

Could you tell us some more about the projects?

First of all, I would like to note our biggest project, the Information Technology Academy. The project started in 2008 and is still continuing. At present one week training sessions are held as part of the project to reduce computer illiteracy among young people.

Some 50,000 people to date have been involved in training in 52 cities and regions of the country. The IT Academy is continuing in the Ireli Youth Centre. In general, we focus on education and information, which the training covers different topics. 

On the other hand, we are trying to fill the gaps that exist in Azerbaijan’s Internet space. For example, considering the shortage of information on the Internet in the Azerbaijani language and about Azerbaijan we have created a unique resource. The Ireli History Centre created the Azerbaijan history portal, www.history.az, which has a virtual library covering all periods of Azerbaijan’s history and users are free to use these resources. You can easily obtain any book or document related to our history on this web site. Currently the database of the portal is being updated and new books downloaded. 

Are young people active in this area today and how do they contribute to the information war?

Coordination of the information war by one organization or body is impossible. Activity and scale of internet users are decisive in this regard. Our objective is to produce the youths who will take active part in information war.

For this purpose, we prefer training that allow the effective use of blogs and social networks. I am proud to note that we conducted the first blog training in Azerbaijan and 100 young people started using blogs during the WeBlog and WeTweet projects. One of our priorities is to propagate and to develop skills to make effective use of micro blogging sites.

We are certainly working hard to create new resources and to create active participants in the information war. Over 30 sites and blogs dedicated to Azerbaijani truth, the Karabakh problem, Khojaly and 31 March genocides, to our occupied regions have gone online and the work is ongoing. E-mail attacks, promotion campaigns in social networks and the effective use of Wiki technologies are among our priorities.

It is good to know that there are independent bloggers and other young people engaged in the information war on their own initiative, shoulder to shoulder with other organizations and bodies. Their articles written in English and placed on the Internet increase the effectiveness of the information war.

Do you use these resources in Ireli's work?

Of course. The number of people covered by the Ireli network on Facebook increased by 10,000 in the last two months to 25,000. Besides, we keep a close eye on any updates on the Internet and apply them in our work.

The Ireli Internet network includes 10 websites and 100 blogs. If we add our resources on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and so on), this makes quite a big number. After a recent update, our official site, www.Ireli.az, functions as a youth portal. Young people may find out about new developments, advertisements and other useful information of interest to them on the portal

We have created a healthy network and kept its functionality and thereby found creative solutions to many problems encountered in our work. I believe it is impossible to achieve significant results today without paying proper attention to this factor.

Two Ireli sites have received two Azerbaijan National Internet Awards, known as Netties.

This is the is second successive year that we have entered the competition and succeeded. Our official site - www.Ireli.az - and the site of the Overseas Education Centre were declared the best in the society and education nominations for the Netty National Internet Awards. The Azerbaijan History Portal was the winner last year.

We are not working in order to win prizes, but we should also emphasize that these awards motivate us for future work. We can say with confidence say that Ireli focuses on IT and is more successful than other organizations in this regard. We will do our best to keep up this tradition and to expand our activities internationally.
 
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