For the next few weeks, we'll be offering profiles of bloggers nominated for the Reporters Sans Frontières weblog awards. This profile is part of the series. Please visit the RSF voting page and vote for your favorite blogs. – Your friendly editors
Abdullah Al-Muhairi is one of the pioneer Arab bloggers, and was one of the first to blog in Arabic. However, he insists he is not the very first Arabic blogger. Al-Muahairi, aka Serdal, says he started his blog because he thought forums are no longer a proper place for him to publish his opinions, and he wanted to have a single site where he can put everything he wants to say.
On May 12, 2005, Serdal celebrated the second anniversary of his blog. He writes in a post on that topic: “I never thought this blog would affect me so much. (…) I just wanted a personal space to express my ideas.” Serdal thinks blogs can lead to changes in Arab World. “It is slow now, but the important thing is to reach a connected electronic community. I think we are in the beginning of forming this community. With more interactivity, discussions and meeting between bloggers in real world, we will see a bigger effect,” he said during an interview via email.
Serdal thinks blogs can be a real challenge for traditional journalism. He says: “Bloggers are more brave to write what traditional journalism won't dare to publish, and sometimes they can be faster to break the news. Also, bloggers write some stuff that we don't usually read in newspapers.” However, he thinks the role of journalism will remain important, and it will come even more important when we have stronger connections between newspapers and blogs.
Born in 1979, Serdal comes from Abu-Dhabi, UAE. His hobbies include reading, writing, walking and building websites. His blog pays much attention to new technologies and the internet. He says much of his writings are motivated by his feeling that he is committed to his readers, but in the same time he is very satisfied because he enjoys writing them and the discussions on his website.