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.
Mauritanian netizens are experiencing anger, sadness, and confusion, along with feelings of solidarity, after young Mauritanian blogger Mazid Weld ElSheikh, sent a letter to his father on Facebook in which he pledged to deactivate his Facebook account until his father forgave him for his recent activities on the social network. Earlier this month, a group of religious extremists accused ElSheikh of blasphemy, printed the blogger’s Facebook updates and showed them to his father. In response, his father demanded that ElSheikh shut down all of his social media accounts and stop writing. His mother pleaded with her son to leave his social media accounts. On her own Facebook account, she asked everyone to leave her son alone. متابعة قراءة “Yes, I will leave the online world”→
Ahmad Gharbeia is an advocate of open source software and open content based in Cairo, Egypt. He frequently trains bloggers how to publish information securely and anonymously, and was part of the team that translated Tactical Technology Collective’sSecurity in-a-Box toolkit into Arabic. He is @agharbeia on Twitter.