IranCubator projects

After a vigorous selection process, about a dozen mobile applications were selected as winners of the IranCubator 1.0 Contest.

They range from applications that support women’s health to apps that provide resources to victims of domestic violence, recovering addicts, parents who want to better protect their children from sexual abuse, and much more. We are only featuring seven apps though we incubated 10 apps. Security concerns for the developers and users prevent us from revealing all of the apps that have been incubated and launched as part of IranCubator 1.0.

Hamdam app: a companion for every Iranian woman

Hamdam helps Iranian women stay healthy, protect their rights, and maintain their dignity. Hamdam is a one-stop-shop for information related to the reproductive and legal rights of Iranian women. It empowers women to track their menstrual cycle, sexual health, and learn about different contraceptive methods. In addition, it helps women navigate Iran’s discriminatory legal structures with information to help empower their lives. Hamdam provides sample legal language to be included in marriage contracts to ensure that women have equal rights in marriage with respect to employment, education, divorce, custody, division of assets, and more. Hamdam was created by our committed partners at ASL19 and the incredibly dedicated women’s rights activist, Soudeh Rad.

Haami: helping recovering addicts

Haami helps Iranians struggling with addiction to dial back temptation and offers them buffers against triggers that can spark a relapse. Haami, which means ally in Persian, offers a range of resources to recovering addicts, including a tried and tested roadmap to sobriety through Narcotics Anonymous’ Basic Text, and other educational information. A section of the app is dedicated to supporting family, friends, and allies of recovering addicts. Health ministry officials in Iran estimate there are 2.2 million drug addicts in the country of 80 million. However, doctors working with recovering addicts believe the actual figures are higher. Haami offers an index of recovery centers in various Iranian cities and provinces. The app has a feature, called “I’m Not Ok,” for those who are experiencing an immediate urge to use. In this section, app users can find inspirational stories of people who have successfully been able to stay clean for many years.

Michka: protecting children from abuse

Michka aids adults who want to teach their children how to identify and report sexual abuse.Michka, an e-book and computer game, tells the story of a gender-neutral insect whose wings are a private part that should not be touched by others. When one day Mr. Koopoom, an adult insect, touches Michka’s wings, Michka becomes confused about what it should do. The story tells a tale of how children can talk to their parents about things that are confusing.

Sahar Shams, the project lead behind Michka, is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She created the app as a resource for Iranian parents to talk about the difficult topic of sexual abuse in a language that is appropriate, understandable and non-threatening for children.

Toranj app: a new line of defense against violence

Toranj is a groundbreaking mobile app that allows women, members of the LGBTQ community, and anyone at risk of violence in Iran to receive immediate help when in danger. With the push of a button, the app safely and discreetly sends out a series of text messages to the selected contacts or the police, notifying them of the danger and the location of the victim. Toranj offers special resources to victims of domestic abuse including a database of legal aid and social workers who provide pro bono help, as well as legal documents and sample briefings that guide victims to get out of an abusive marriage.

Toranj was created by our dedicated partners at NetFreedom Pioneers.

Radito app: a pirate podcast app to take on Iran’s censors

RadiTo, which means “Radio You” in Persian, was IranCubator’s first app. It serves as an audio-only Iranian YouTube app for illicit ideas and entertainment. RadiTo is an Android app uniquely suited to the conditions of Iran’s internet: it navigates slow, expensive data connections to offer censorship-free podcasts to a wide range of audiences. The app’s interface not only offers Farsi and English, but four other Iranian minority languages as well. RadiTo allows users to download content and listen offline, which is a crucial setting in a country where intentional government throttling slows internet speeds.

Hafez app: protecting Iran’s brave activists

Defying government repression is a risky task. Hafez is designed to provide human rights defenders with additional layers of protection to address their strategic needs. Anyone with an Android phone, which is the majority of people in Iran, can use Hafez to: record and securely report incidents of human rights violations, access an extensive digital rolodex of attorneys and their areas of expertise, receive the latest human rights-related reports and news without needing to use internet censorship circumvention tools; and more.

The security of our users is our number one priority. You can review Hafez’ extensive security report, carried by the cybersecurity firm Cure53. Once a user closes the app, all the information reported will be deleted.

Sandoogh96 app: unbiased news and information in the palm of voters’ hands

Six weeks before Iran’s presidential election, IranCubator released Sandoogh96 -Vote2017- to empower voters with information to ignore political propaganda. Iranians elect their officials in a country where the government has a strong control over the media and information. Sandoogh96 offered balance, and up-to-date election news related to the presidential and city council candidates. The app had a “find a match” feature which allowed eligible voters to identify the candidates that were most aligned with them on issues of economy, foreign policy, women’s rights, domestic policy and education. The app offered profiles and biographies on each of the candidates.

Sandoogh96 was created by our partners at IranWire and Small Media.

Cheragh academy, public education for the workplace without sexual harassment

Cheragh Academy is an educational website, an online training program and a social media campaign that provides transformational resources about workplace sexual harassment in Iran. The name Cheragh Academy translates to “Light Academy” because its mission is to bring to light this culturally and politically taboo topic.

Cheragh Academy imagines an Iran where all women and men feel safe in their workplaces and are able to pursue their interests and provide for their families without fear. Its goal is to educate Iranians about workplace sexual harassment: how to recognize when it’s happening, how to avoid being complicit in it, how to talk about it, how to seek safety and protection from it, and how to heal from it using a restorative justice framework.

Cheragh Academy was created by a group of experts, activists, thought leaders and culture makers led by Iranian feminist and women’s rights activist Samaneh Savadi.

Nahoft, a state-of-the-art encryption app made for Android mobile phones

Nahoft, which means “hidden” in Farsi, is a state-of-the-art encryption mobile app custom-built for Iranian users. While not a messenger, it can be used with any messaging app, even the ones controlled by the Iranian state. If there is an internet shutdown or if the international messaging apps are unavailable, Nahoft can make private communication secure in an insecure network.

Nahoft’s objective is to offer Iranians an extra layer of confidentiality and digital freedom and to show the Islamic Republic of Iran that its efforts to limit its citizens’ internet freedom will be thwarted at every step of the way.

Meidoon: helping Telegram users avoid disinformation

Meidoon was created in partnership between ASL19 and U4I organization under the IranCubator project is a platform that provides open and accessible data on trending Persian-language content on Telegram. The website is still in beta, but shows the last three months of data collected on Iranian’s Telegram use.

Telegram, although banned in Iran, is still a main source of information for a widespread audience that uses VPNs to access it. However, with Telegram’s popularity, it has also been a place where misinformation thrives and proliferates in recent years.
Meidoon will take Telegram user submissions of Public channels on the platform to be scraped, while also collecting the number of post views and forwards. The platform will then sort the Public channels based on veracity, popular content, and categorize them based on trending topics.

The goal is for Meidoon to provide open and accessible information flowing through Telegram for civil society organizations and users in Iran. By creating a tool to identify channels that are spreading misinformation, Meidoon's users (such as journalists and NGOs, CSOs) can take early action to fact check and stop the spread of false news narratives, discrediting specific channels as unreliable.

Pesar: a game to help teenage boys build respectful, equal relationships with girls

Akharin Dar (Persian: آخرین در, meaning “last door”) is a self-journey in an interactive game format, in which the main character represents the teenage boys playing this game and trying to find a way to start a conversation with a girl he likes to be romantically involved with.

The game uses visual storytelling, mindfulness practices, and principles from cognitive behavioural therapy to teach Iranian teenage boys how to build healthy, respectful, and equal relationships with girls.

Unfortunately, gender-based violence is widespread in Iran. As activists, we can tackle this social problem in many ways. One is by educating boys who have not yet fully accepted the traditional, Islamic beliefs and attitudes toward girls and women. Their minds are still malleable and open to learning—and unlearning.

The game was made for boys ages 12-16 who are attracted to girls and interested in striking a friendship and possibly a relationship with them. Sahar Shams, the creator of Akharin Dar and Michka apps, designed this game in partnership with Iranian psychologists. The game uses principles from cognitive behavioural therapy and emotionally focused therapy to invite teenage boys on a journey of self-exploration and self-awareness.