Blogging In The Arab World
The following is an neat and interesting opinion article written by a Saudi Blogger, Ahmed Al-Omrane about the fast growing blogging phenomenon in the Arab World and how Middle Eastern governments (I prefer using Arab governments, in general, since the denomination "Middle East" excludes North African countries at least geographically speaking) could benefit from this new media tool. (Check Ahmed's blog here and don't forget to have a look at his flicker album!).
"Blogging and other forms of citizen media such as podcasting, photoblogging and vlogging can be crucial in the Middle East, where freedom of expression barely exists. Blogs can provide news, analysis and commentary; they can antagonize government propaganda; they can also serve as vehicles for ideas of political and social reforms. Moreover, blogs can provide a good environment for dialogue in the region between people and their governments as well as among people themselves in the same country or in different countries. This dialogue can help create better understanding on the way to resolve conflicts and reduce tensions.
Governments in the region should stop wasting time and resources cracking down on bloggers and should focus more on the benefits they can gain from blogging. Blogs can give indications of trends and public opinion regarding pressing issues in every country, and leaders and officials should learn to be more open to criticism: They should realize that being in the public eye does not give them some kind of immunity. On the contrary, it is the other way around."
Via The Daily Star