Arabic blogs are making their mark on the international blogging scene, with more writers and commentators taking to their keyboards and enjoying the thrill of the instant publication of their ideas away from government censorship, newspaper censorship and self-censorship!
The BOBS – Best of the Blogs Awards 2006  highlighted a number of Arabic blogs over the previous few weeks of the competition – giving bloggers and readers a wide spectrum of blogs from 22 Arab countries to pounder on.
The winners of the Arab blog categories are: Jar El Kamar  from Egypt for the Best Arabic Blog – Jury Award Winner and Nostalgic Story Teller  from Lebanon for the Best Arabic Blog – User Prize Winner.
Jar El Kamar announces the results  while thanking his readers and supporters.
اشكر جدا كل فرد من الخمسمائه و ست و ثلاثين الذين صوتوا لصالح هذه المدونه و اشكر جدا جدا كل من هنأ او سيهنيء
سعيد طبعا بهذه الجائزه .. و لن اكذب واقول اني لم اكن اتمناها
حظا اوفر في المرات القادمه للمنافسين الذين هم في الحقيقه اصدقاء شخصيون اعزاء للغايه
“Thanks to each of the 536 people who voted for this blog and I would like to thank all of those who congratulated and will congratulate me. Of course, I am happy with this award..and I won't lie to you and say I didn't wish for it. Good luck to my competitors next time. They are in reality very close personal friends of mine,” he wrote.
Bobs describes the site as follows: “An example of citizen journalism, Jar el Kamar has been able to cover incidents in his local city of Alexandria more bravely than your typical media outlet. He was on the front line of dangerous situations including violence happening around parliamentary elections and church attacks. He blogs also about culture, social issues and other topics.”
Hilal Chouman too thanks his readers and supporters for the win.
أشكر كل من صوت لهذه المدونة بدءاً بياسر وإيف وهبة ووفاء ومصطفى وأمل ونادين ومازن ورامي ومغتربي السويد وأميركا وكندا [ (; ] والمدونين اللبنانيين والعرب والقراء المجهولين لهذه المدونة والأصدقاء. أقدر أصواتكم جداً ولا يسعني إلا شكر
“I would like to thanks all those who voted for this blog especially Yaser, Eve, Heba, Wafa, Mustafa, Amal, Nadeen, Mazen, Rami and the immigrants in Sweden, America and Canada as well as the Lebanese and Arab bloggers and the anonymous readers of this blog. I appreciate you votes and thank you for them,” he wrote.
According to Chouman, who is based in the UK, more than 5500 blogs were nominated for the awards.
في المرحلة الأولى تم ترشيح أكثر من 5500 من ضمنها أكثر من 230 مدونة باللغة العربية. الآن صارت المسابقة في مرحلتها النهائية حيث تمت التصفية ليمسي عدد المدونات العربية النهائية المرشحة 10 مدونات فقط من ضمنها هذه المدونة.
“In the first round, more than 5500 blogs, including 230 Arabic blogs, have been nominated for this award. In this final round, 10 Arabic blogs are competing, including this,” he said.
Bobs sums up Choman's blog as “defined by a beautiful, smooth writing style and clever use of multimedia. Creative, funny, sarcastic, straight to the point. An array of moods is covered in the different posts, all of which are very enjoyable.”
The runners up too deserve mention as their blogs are really well-maintained with almost daily updates. But those will have to wait for the next few weeks.
In other matters, Egyptian bloggers are continuing their efforts to highlight the sexual harassment incidents  which rocked their city centre during Eid.
Manal, from Manal and Alaa's Bit Bucket , tell us about a rally being staged today to shed light on the incident.
تعلن حركة الشارع لنا أننا سوف نبدأ حملة دفاعا عن تواجدنا.. عن حقنا في الحياة العامة.. وعن حقنا في حياة خالية من العنف والتحرش الجنسي.. وندعو الجميع، نساء ورجال، إلى
التجمع أمام سينما مترو (أحد مواقع تحرشات وسط البلد)
الثلاثاء، 14 نوفمبر في الثالثة بعد الظهر،
تضامنا مع النساء ضحايا أيام العيد وإعلانا بأن الشارع لنا وأن أحدا لن يعزلنا أو يخيفنا بعيدا عنه.
كي لا تخاف أي أم على ابنتها أو أخت على أختها وأي زوج على زوجته أو أب على ابنته.. كي لا يسرقوا منا الشعور بالأمان في بلادنا..
“The Street is Ours Movement would like to announce the launch of a campaign to defend our existence, our right to a life in public and our right to live protected from violence and sexual harrassment. We would like to invite men and women to gather in front of the Metro Cinema (where some of the sexual harrassment incidents took place) on Tuesday (November 14) at 3pm, in solidarity with the women who were victimised during Eid. This gathering will serve to announce that we have rights which we will continue to call for without fear so that no mother feels worried about her daughter, a sister for her sister, a husband for his wife, and a father for his daughter and so that they don't steal from us the feeling of security we should enjoy in our country,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Prometheus , links an article from the Washington Post , which sheds light on blogging in Saudi Arabia, and translates it into Arabic for her readers.
And last but not least, Iraqi Tara  tells us about a new nightmare  in her war-torn country, where university classes have been suspended until further notice.
وزير التعليم العالي يقرر تعليق الدراسة في الجامعات الى حين تحسن الوضع الامني.
الله يعين كل ام واب لم يرجع ابنهم الى حد الان من عمله و يعين كل زوجة لم يرجع زوجها و كل اخت وكل طفل و طفلة.
على الاقل الكابوس الواحد يصحى منه بس اللي احنا بيه اسوأ من كابوس فنحن لانصحو ابدا.
“The Minister of Higher Education has announced that classes will be suspended in university until the security situation improves. May Allah (God) show mercy on every mother and father whose child may not return home from work and every wife whose husband may not come back and every sister and every child. People usually wake up from nightmares except the nightmare we are living in and which we cannot wake up from,” she wrote.