When the war broke out in Syria in 2011, the Infrastructure has been adversely affected, especially the telecommunications sector, Which in some serious cases, such as explosions or other dangerous situations, led to break completely the communication system. So we were disconnected totally from our relatives and loved ones who are living in other parts of Damascus for days and in some cases for months, and we weren’t able to know if they are safe or not, or even if they might need a help.
Because of these critical and frustrating situation and the inability of Syrian families to communicate with each other during the emergency situations, Abdul Rahman AlAshraf, Software Engineer, has innovated a new communication
technology method in case of disconnection during war and other natural disasters.
AlAshraf has done his Master degree at Stuttgart university for applied science. The thesis research was about finding alternative solutions and a new methodology for communication, his research guided him to develop the first prototype of his project FreeCom.
That prototype was a mobile application using all the techniques in the smartphone, such as Bluetooth, NFC, Microphones and Flash light, relying on mesh-networking technology.
The most innovative method was transferring data over ultrasound, this technology transmits text messages in the form of an encrypted whistle, a pattern that can be picked up by microphones for nearby mobile phones and transferred to others in an emergency cases.
Messages circulated through users on this network would be encrypted, preventing their detection by outside actors and others who have not gained programme access.
FreeCom won in Austria- Graz in 2016 the overall European Youth Award as the most outstanding project. The project has got a significant international media support like BBC Arabic, CNBC, DW Arabic and Sky news Arabic, as well AlAshraf has been invited to many important conferences and platforms as a speaker at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai and TEDx in Germany- Münster to talk about his success story as a Syrian youth in Europe and about the importance of civilized dialogue among cultures.
AlAshraf has announced officially in December 2017 the FreeCom‘s first Prototype for Developers, free and open source. Now FreeCom is available for everyone, AlAshraf believes that When the community could all work together under an innovative environment, they would provide better alternative functionalities and help people who are living in disaster to communicate easily.