During the January 2011 revolution in Egypt, law enforcement in many parts of the city of Cairo became virtually non-existent. Ordinary citizens were forced to fight their own battles against criminals who took advantage of the political instability in their country, and the city experienced a dramatic increase in incidents of theft and bribery.
A group of young Egyptians including Amr Sobhy set out to empower their countrymen with the information they needed to fight crime. Their organization, Zabatak, collected crime reports from ordinary citizens across Cairo. Amr and his team aggregated the information and mapped criminal activity, enabling citizens to identify hotspots and lobby authorities to investigate incidents. With over 30,000 active weekly users of their website, social media, and mobile applications, Zabatak is becoming a force to be reckoned with. They have collected hundreds of reports of illegal activity that would not have otherwise been reported.
Zabatak, meaning ‘I caught you’ in Arabic, has a lofty goal: ending crime and corruption in Egypt. Amr and his colleagues are representative of the new generation of Egyptian youth, who are using social media and technology to transform their society.
In 2011, Amr created another online platform, Morsimeter.com, that monitored the performance of the recently elected Egyptian president. Morsimeter was featured on CNN and won a World Summit Youth Award in the truth category. Since then, Amr, as a true serial entrepreneur, founded a third venture, Dawaa, a modern Egyptian best-selling digital drug index focused on enhancing user experience for healthcare professionals and patients learning about drugs and finding alternatives.
He is also a 2013 graduate of Singularity University; a highly selective program at NASA Ames Research Center with the purpose of gathering technology talents to solve humanity’s grand challenges using exponential technologies. In 2014, Amr Sobhy delivered a thought provoking TED Talk at a TEDx event in Vienna, Austria on the “Stigma of Breaking Free from the Comfort Zone.” Sobhy is currently a Chevening Scholar and Public Policy Master’s candidate at Birkbeck, University of London. He also identifies as a storyteller with two poetry collections in classical Arabic and one book of short-stories.