أرشيفات التصنيف: English

Arab Bloggers: A Blessed Generation?

This post was originally published on Global Voices Advox.

“Your generation is blessed. Everybody has a phone now, internet is accessible everywhere, satellite TV is available in almost every home. What more do you need?”

This was thrown at me by a middle-aged Jordanian taxi driver who took me from the Amman airport to the Arab Bloggers Meeting last month. I was trying to share with him my frustration about the situation of freedom of expression in the Arab world.

Three years earlier, I may have agreed with the man’s comment. Today it seems to encapsulate almost all that is wrong with the way some of us still think about how technology can change things.

متابعة قراءة Arab Bloggers: A Blessed Generation?

Citizen Lab: Cyber Stewards at the Fourth Arab Bloggers Meeting in Jordan

This post was originally published by citizenlab.org.

From 20-23 January, activists and bloggers from across the Arab world gathered in Amman, Jordan for the Fourth Arab Bloggers Meeting. Organised by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Global Voices, the three-day private event was followed by a public forum with panel discussions, debates, and interviews on 23 January.
متابعة قراءة Citizen Lab: Cyber Stewards at the Fourth Arab Bloggers Meeting in Jordan

Noon Arabia: My First Arab Bloggers Meeting #AB14

This post was originally published on Notes by Noon

I wrote these lines on my flight back home after an amazing week in Amman, reflecting on the inspiring group of people I spent over the last couple of days with the activists, artists, bloggers, editors, journalist, visual tools and digital security experts, along with all the organizers, sponsors, and facilitators.

It was the first time for me to attend an Arab Blogger's Meeting and although I hadn't met many of the participants physically before, through our interaction over the years our virtual connection had been well established. There was an air of familiarity, comradeship and solidarity which laid the basis for new friendships. Sadly, there were activists and bloggers who were absent either due to unjust incarceration or shameful red tape which prevented them from being physically there, yet their presence was very much felt amongst us.

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متابعة قراءة Noon Arabia: My First Arab Bloggers Meeting #AB14

Letter from Alaa

free alaa

This is an informal translation of the letter that Alaa Abd El Fattah wrote to his sisters Mona and Sanaa on December 24, 2013. The original letter is in Arabic and can be accessed here. Although there is no doubt that the power and impact of aspects of the letter may get lost in translation, I find it absolutely necessary for everyone to read the letter, if only to get a sliver of what Alaa is currently experiencing.

متابعة قراءة Letter from Alaa

A Poem for the Surveillance State

Written by Jillian C. York and first performed at AB14 by Wafa Ben Hassine

Have you ever cried for the world?
What, then, can you say for what you’re doing?
This
attempt at creating a country that never existed.
all frozen in time
when you tell me my
love is unnatural my
privacy is unimportant my
heart doesn’t matter I
want to ask you:
what about your tears?
have they dried up
crusted with a film that allows you to
ignore my needs
pretend this is a land for your people only
not you
not mine.

“go back where you came from!”
I heard one night
shouted with might at a pretty girl
whose heart is Carolina through and through but whose
skin and politics don’t match yours, your perception
match what you dream this land to be and
so you
set up cameras, infiltrate, you
watch us, parse our metadata
read our files and you
shun us.

But we are
strong, we are
not wrong, our silence is
not unintentional.

But fear we know, and
fear we show
when we stand down, don’t
stand our ground, reclaim our
place.

First they came for the poor,
the queer, the Black, the Muslim, the immigrant, the Palestinian.
But I was not silent because I am more them than I will ever be you.
I am angrier, louder, and I will not stand down,
I will not stand down
I will not. stand. down.