An Archive of Social Media Collections for

Researchers, Activists, and Artists

with a focus on the Middle East

Explore a dashboard of visualization and analysis tools for an archive of millions of multilingual tweets from the 2009-2014 Arab uprisings and Occupy movements.

Explore the book companion to Arab Data Bodies: Social Media in Mixed Reality and a collection of interactive data stories on social media and political mobilization.

R-Shief's history

In 2008, UCSB  Assistant Professor of Media Theory and Practice Laila Shereen Sakr began to engineer an ambitious multi‐function media system, R-Shief, with the aim to attend to critical gaps in computational and textual analysis on social media in Arabic, and from the broader, transnational Middle East.


R-Shief evolved into a real‐time analysis and creative representation engine that archived and reflected digital uprising and enabled it to some degree. By 2014 it was a mature and diverse platform for producing 3D interactive media, generative art, remix video, data visualizations, and live cinema.


Today R-Shief continues to challenge the boundaries between art, technology, and scholarship while serving as a data house for billions of social media artifacts collected over more than ten years and across several media platforms.

For more R-Shief history, check out the interactive timeline below.