Blogging the Arab world

Freedom of the press is one of the cornerstones of any democracy. Sadly, in much of the Arab world, citizens cannot take this for granted. Blogging is therefore one of the major ways of communicating “dissenting” ideas and thoughts.

Blogging, however, has yet to find a prominent voice in the Arab world, Committee To Protect Bloggers reports. Why?

“Most states still attempt to restrict access to the Internet via a variety of mechanisms, including making it available in public libraries only, blocking of certain political (as well as pornographic) sites, and, simply, making the access too damn expensive, so only a tiny percentage of the population can afford it.”

Check out Syria Exposed and Beirut 2 Bayside, two interesting examples, with the left and right covered. People are justifiably scared of state repression and only those willing to take huge risks are blogging. English is usually the language of choice, therefore rendering the work out of bounds for the vast majority of people who only speak Arabic.

This will change soon. Believe it. We in the West should support these individuals, from the delusions of our own comfortable lives.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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