Vivacious as her cartoon character that she draws on her blog, Maya Zankoul stepped into LAUsocial class and added her own “Zakouli’s” flavor to it. She is a 23 years old Lebanese graphic/web designer and blogger. She started by putting her work online and it grew into a book Maya Zankoul’s Amalgam. Zankoul’s illustrations reflect the many frustrations she and many Lebanese citizens face in their daily lives in Lebanon.

On her visit to our class on Thursday 18th of March, she showed in her presentation the different media tools she uses online. She stressed on the importance of social media and how she relies on twitter and blogs as her primary sources of news and finds them more efficient than news spread through traditional media outlets. She mentioned that nowadays we don’t need C.Vs anymore, by being online especially on twitter; one could have the opportunity to present himself/herself and his skills and competencies. She told us how beneficial twitter was in promoting her work and interacting with different people all over the world. She quoted someone who said that we should stop separating our online and offline lives emphasizing on the importance of social media in our daily lives.

After her presentation, there was time for answering our questions. When asked if she has any privacy concerns, she said that everything used to be private unless you made it public but nowadays everything is public unless you turn it to private. When asked about the meaning of Amalgame, she said that Amalgame is a blend of diverse things and it was the name of her portfolio at university. In her blog, she criticizes a lot of Lebanese women and when asked about why she does so, she said that she would like to see in the media true images of Lebanese women who aren’t only interested in trivial things as they are being depicted in advertisements.

Then she posted, live, on her blog a post about the new numbering service used at banks and Liban Poste and she actually did this in front of us. You can check it here: http://mayazankoul.com/2010/03/18/a-miracle-at-lebanese-banks/ The most thing I liked about Maya Zankoul is her passion for the work she is doing and her persistence where at some point she mentioned that when she was searching for a publisher for publishing her online work, no one accepted and said that online is not real to go for it, but eventually she didn’t give up and VOILA, her book was born.

“This Spring, “Amalgame”  will be touring Lebanon, along with book signings!” (Maya Zankoul’s blog)

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