Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blogging Egypt

I have recently come across very interesting blogs by Egyptian citizens. Each blog tackles a different subject, yet, all of them radiate the same impressions: boredom and rebelliousness. Boredom from the socio-economic situation in Egypt, boredom from the tantalizing state, boredom from the lack of freedom. And a rebelliousness against the omnipresent state security service.

I have lived in Cairo for almost a year and learnt to secretly hate and despise Moubarak's regime. A regime that lets its citizens fall into an overwhelming poverty, a regime that controls the media, a regime that despises inclusion. A regime that lives in outrageous luxury while citizens are starving. Citizens are so busy gaining their livelihood that any other consideration, such as freedom, critical thinking, principles, etc, is considered a luxury, a non-essential feature of human life. I have thus frequently wondered about the state of comfortable numbness of the Egyptian people.

This is why I was pleased to discover a set of interesting Egyptian blogs, having the ambition to bypass state control of the media and self-censorship. Many are pro-reform, others coordinate demonstrations and other forms of civil action. Many have become important sources of alternative information for domestic and foreign journalists.

I so wish that the power of the blogosphere could lead to political reform, that some mechanisms will emerge whereby online discontent is translated into real political change. But, realising the influence of these blogs, the regime is increasingly controlling the cyberspace. Last summer Internet café owners were told to start collecting the identity cards of all users. In March this year the government began prosecuting bloggers for the content of their blogs.

I do believe though that blogs and Internet journalism have the potential to galvanize, inspire and organize. I hope this potential will be seized before its too late.


Ibn ad Dunya said...

Thank you for your kind words about the Egyptian blogospere, we all share the same sentiment and hope for progress and a better tomorrow, and it will come, maybe not in the short term and certainly not as quick as most of us want, but in the end, a better future will take shape.

marooned84 said...

fact: 28.6% is the percentage of illiteracy in Egypt.

Source: CIA factbook

I wonder how much could be the percentage of computer illiteracy..

Maya said...

Ibn ad dunya... we are all ibn ad dunya, citizens of the world. citizens of the arab world. Being touched by the fellow egyptian citizens is only normal. thanks for your visit...

marooned84, totally get your point. blogging only concerns a very small fragment of the population. Yet, even for this tiny fragment it is a window to rethink the world. and that can not be a loss...