I like to pick up American blogger Jeff Jarvis and have a pop at him when I think he gets carried away with the potential of blogs or when he turns on the anti-Euro tap, but the reason there is a link to Jeff over on the left is because he is one of the few bloggers who takes the global potential of self-publishing seriously.
Jeff has spent a lot of time building links with Iranian bloggers and has also urged that more effort be made to encourage blogging in Iraq. We might shrug our shoulders at our ability to be able to instantly publish our thoughts but for people who have spent their lives living under dictatorships, media like weblogs truly are liberating.
Jeff has published an email from a young Iraqi who has just started a weblog and it is a must-read. This is just part of it:
Internet is still new to most Iraqis, very few people had it before the war, according to SCIS which was the state owned ISP the percentage of Iraqis using the Internet was 0.001 percent of the population, and they were intent on keeping it that way.
But now things are different, Internet cafes are all over Baghdad, there are nine of them in my block alone, and someone estimated them at 300 in Baghdad now, and there are more opening daily, but sadly only a few who still have the privilege of functioning telephone lines have Internet accounts at home….
Anyway, forgive me for digressing. Like I said I am willing to start my own blog now, I’m also planning to make one in Arabic as well, so Iraqi Arabic writers can do the same. And also for the Arab world, as you know tens of millions of Arabs are still living under totalitarian regimes similar to Saddam’s. And I was dissapointed to find very few weblogs by Arab people dealing with political and social issues in the Arab and Islamic world. I have always been concerned about our voice not reaching the rest of the world. Sadly a very large majority in the west still see us as people living in tents, dressed with turbans and robes, riding camels and cursing the ‘infidel’ west. This is a myth, and the reason Arab people aren’t building bridges with the west is because they are so hopeless about their future under their oppressing regimes and their Islamic mullahs who both wish to keep it that way, so they can go on plundering our money and laughing at our chins while warning us of the grave fate that Allah has prepared for us if we don’t do it their way. I’m sick of all of that.
He’s sick of all that and so he has started a blog that you can read here.
Soon there will be scores of Iraqis publishing their news and views, totally uncensored, in the public domain for anyone in the world to read.
Now that is revolutionary.