Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Congrats Ahmed, 'ya' famous!

Congrats Ahmed, 'ya' famous buddy! Well, maybe not 'famous famous'...but you're definitely 'out there'..in a good way.

I have a wee connection with Saudi Arabia as I lived there for a few years post Gulf War (1 as some call it). I could not have imagined for one that there would be such animal as 'bloggers', but also that there would be such special breed as Saudi bloggers. For those in the Gulf in general, where politically, religiously and societally (is that a word??) one still walks a fine line with what one can say/write or not, it feels very good to me to see that people have come a long way to be able to do so. Inspite of censorship,(which the technical savvy know how to circumvent anyway) and the possibility of arrest or just being accused of something which in some cases would be considered enough reason for arrest, the spirit of the bloggers representing their particular culture and nation is very well alive and kicking. I check out Ahmed's blog everyday (Saudi Jeans) and sometimes find others by way of checking the commenters. It is always interesting to leave one's computer room and venture abroad.
Through his blogging and his writing style, Ahmed found himself offered the position as regional contributor for Global Voices Online. That's when he decided to venture out of anonymity and post his picture. And his full name. Do not underestimate the fact that that is a big deal. If something that he might write will not sit well with whomever in KSA, he could get into serious trouble. I worry for him and so do some other people. But..I have faith; he's smart and he's not a trouble maker. He also has his finger on the pulse of what many young people in Saudi think (oh man, that makes me sound old..errr) and I think it would behoove the Saudi royals (for who else would be in government?) to listen and take note. As someone originally from the Netherlands,I know you can have royalty AND a healthy functioning democracy. Although that said, it might still be a long ways away for the people in Saudi Arabia. But with blogging being permitted...it's a start. (accentuate the positive)

1 Comments:

Blogger El Mas Ching√≥n said...

From someone who once wrote for a progessive news outlet, congratulations! Good luck Ahmed. :-)

3:52 AM  

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