Stories about Weblog from May, 2009
Syria: Campaign to boycott telecom companies and demand lower rates begins
Cellular networks were licensed to operate in Syria in 2001 and ever since day one, the media echoed the customers' discontent with service rates. Syrian bloggers decided they have had enough, so they organized a boycott campaign against mobile carriers that will take place on June 1.
Iran: Khatami answers bloggers’ questions
On Sunday, Mohamad Khatami, the former reformist Iranian president, who is backing Mir Hussein Mousavi's candidacy in the Iranian presidential election, took part in an internet TV programme launched by reformists called Mowj4. Khatami answered questions from the internet, including from bloggers, Facebook members and Twitter.
Internet in North Korea, Nokia's Ovi Store, Google Wave and Tech Happenings
Tech events were happening in Thailand, Vietnam and Japan. North Korea got mobile internet and Google released a new product. We have reviews, analysis and links from bloggers in Asia and Africa.
Go Farm, Young Man! – How Farming in Japan is Changing
For a country that identifies strongly as being historically agricultural people, the landscape of Japan's agricultural sector is bleak, and has been for some time. Simply put, the workforce is rapidly aging and there aren't nearly enough successors. The price of rice has gone down, and structural reform is unlikely...
Morocco: Campaigning for the Disenchanted
The electoral campaign for the local council (or communal) elections in Morocco, due in June 12 has started amidst widespread apathy and disenchantment. The debate has been raging over the Moroccan blogosphere about the relevance of the process, participation over boycott, and the balkanized political scene.
Indonesia: Jailed For Complaining
The case of Prita Mulyasari, a mother of two, is currently the hot topic among Indonesian bloggers. Prita shared her experience of being maltreated by a private hospital on a mailing-list. The hospital took legal action against her. The online complaint may result into six years jail term and maximum fine of 1 billion Rupiah (nearly US$ 98,000).
Malaysia: Globalization Dilemma – Educational Progress or Preserving Ethnic Identity?
The teaching of science and mathematics in English implemented in 2003 replaced Malay and other ethnic languages as the medium of teaching instruction in Malaysia. It is set for a final decision after long reassessment and repeated delay, with influential lobby groups aiming to preserve the relevance of ethnic languages especially the preeminence of Malay language as the national language in the age of rapid globalization.
Spain: Wikimovie, created through online participation
In Spain, beverage company Mahou has decided to climb on the online participation bandwagon and have turned to the internet to create and produce a short film where directing, casting and production decisions have been made by the community of participants at the WikiPeli site.
Russia: Bloggers’ Memories of Soviet Maternity Hospitals
Last year, Sinisa Boljanovic translated a number of heartrending childbirth stories, written anonymously by Serbian women and posted on the "Mother Courage" award-winning site, launched and maintained by Serbian blogger Branka Stamenkovic/Krugolina Borup. This month, LJ user germanych, a Russian blogger, asked his readers to share experiences of giving birth in the Soviet Union. While Branka Stamenkovic's "Mother Courage" initiative is an attempt to change the situation for the better, the Russian blogger's goal has been to document a lesser-known chapter of the Soviet history.
Iran: YouTube, Broadway music and the Election
Campaigners in the Iranian elections have used YouTube in different ways to promote their favorite candidate or discredit their opponents. Four candidates will be on the ballot for the presidency on June 12, including the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
East Timor: Thoughts on Abortion A Few Days Before Law Approval
A heated debate about the provisions of a new draft penal code pertaining to abortion is taking place right now in East Timor. If the law is passed, abortion will become a crime and those who perform it will be punished with 2 to 8 years imprisonment, even in cases of incest or rape. The blogosphere reacts, Timorese women raising their voices and questioning why the more pressing issue of underage prostitution is not being debated instead.
Egypt: Cairo Refugee Film Festival
Integrating refugees in society is the aim of a film festival with a difference. Marwa Rakha learns about the Cairo Refugee Film Festival, being held from June 16 to 20 from the event's blog through a fellow blogger, and shares her findings in this post.
UAE and Saudi Arabia: “It's Gonna Be a Scorcher!”
The Hollywood film Ishtar, about lounge singers in Morocco who get caught up in an international plot between the CIA and the "Emir of Ishtar" is memorable but for one line: "It's gonna be a scorcher!" This past week, Gulf residents have found themselves saying just that, as temperatures in the region rose well into the 40s (Celsius). The Saudi and UAE Twitterspheres have their say.
Bahrain: Swine Flu Arrives
Earlier this week the first case of the new H1N1 flu, or swine flu, was confirmed in Bahrain, arriving with a Bahraini student who had been in New York. Bahrain's bloggers react in this post.
Haiti, U.S.A.: Remembering Fr. Jean-Juste
Blogger tributes are pouring in for the late Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste, a Haitian Roman Catholic priest who was known by his admirers as a champion of the poor and an ardent supporter of the Fanmi Lavalas political party, headed by ousted President Jean Bertrand Aristide.
Egypt: Anti-Male Circumcision Campaign
In 2008 Egypt passed a law that banned female circumcision (FGM). Today a group of bloggers started a campaign against male circumcision. Marwa Rakha picks up the story in this post.
Africa: Remembering Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem
Africa has lost one of its greatest sons, Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem. He died on the eve of Africa Day in a car accident in Nairobi on his way to launch a maternal health campaign in Kigali, Rwanda. Tajudeen was the Director of Justice Africa, General Secretary of the Pan-African Movement, Chairperson for the Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme (PADEAP), Chair of the International Governing Council of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and Outreach Coordinator on the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.
Honduras: Strong Earthquake Shakes Country
Honduras awoke early in the morning of May 28 when an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale shook the country. Five deaths were confirmed, more injured, and slowly there is the discovery of damages to the country's infrastructure like buildings, bridges, and highways. Microblogging platforms like Blipea and Twitter were the first to report the earthquake from users in San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and La Ceiba. However, some bloggers were unable to update their sites due to electrical and internet outages all across the country.
Hong Kong: SC group censored June 4th special feature
Daisy, an editor from Esquire, a lifestyle magazine under South China media group in Hong Kong, disclosed in her blog that the top management banned the publication of 15 pages June 4th special feature in its latest issue. The top rank company staff, after looking at the layout, said the...
Russia: Blogging for Justice in Hit-and-Run Accident Case
On May 13, 2009, a Subaru Forester car hit a pregnant woman who was crossing the street in Moscow. She died in hospital later. The perpetrator escaped the scene of the crime, but eye-witnesses remembered his license plate number. He turned out to be an off-duty police officer. On May 21, he was still not apprehended. On that day, the victim's husband, Alexey Shumm, started a blog to draw public attention to this tragic case and to document his attempts to seek justice. Below are some excerpts.
Serbia: Torture or Therapy?
Last week, on May 21, a short film about torture in the Spiritual Rehabilitation Center "Crna Reka," located in south-western Serbia, was shown on the web site of Vreme, a Serbian weekly magazine. The patients of this center are drug addicts and its head is Branislav Peranovic, a Serbian Orthodox priest. Nearly all Serbian media have shown the horrible scenes from the short film, in which Peranovic is shown beating one of the patients brutally with a spade and with his fists. Sinisa Boljanovic reviews Serbian bloggers' responses.