This was my first week of using a feed aggregator for watching the Kurdish blogs and I am not sure how I feel about it. Part of me really enjoyed checking every single blog each week, but it can be terribly time consuming. I set up the aggregator for the website Kurdistan Blog Count, and if you are interesting in linking to it yourself here is the public site. However the new feed has enabled me to organize today's post thematically, in which we will be able not only to discuss the major topics but address the subject of Kurdish bloggers that have become prominent in the news.
First item up, the elections in Iraq: By and far the most regarded coverage of the Iraqi elections has been the blog The Iraqi Vote (unfortuately the permalinks were not functioning correctly on their site, however I strongly recommend that you review the comment dialouge and the posts if this topic is of interest to you.) From Holland to Kurdistan and Roj Bash have also had excellent election coverage, especially with respects to expat voting—I recommend reading the personal commentaries that Roj Bash has provided. Kurdo from Kurdo's World writes about possible election fraud and his decision not to vote, he has some amazing links to photos from the election. Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes expresses his happiness at being able to vote and his hope for an independent Kurdistan. Lastly in this long list of esteemed bloggers, is Kurdish blogger Bilal Wahab who was able to meet with the President of the United States on election day (I am sure that many will recognise the photo.)!
Second item: There are several trials that are ongoing that the Kurdish blogosphere are buzzing about. The first is Dr. Kamal Sayd Qadir who is being held by the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraqi Kurdistan for crimes that include “disgracing the Kurdish government and it's struggles”. This brings out issues of credibilty of the KRG asking neighboring states to grant free speech to their Kurds, but denying the right to its own Kurds. While this has been covered most notably by the blog the Is-Ought problem, other bloggers have weighed in this issue including Hiwa, Rasti and Roj Bash. A lot of comparisons between this trial and the upcoming trial of Turkish author Orhan Pamuk have been drawn.
Thirdly, just a reminder for people to check out the work being done by the blog Save Roj TV, which is campaining to retain the broadcasting rights of Kurdish television in Holland.
And finally, The Kurdistan Bloggers Union has written to remind Kurdish bloggers that they need to guard their own safety when they blog.