Saudi Arabia: What if Olive Riley Had Blogged All Along?

The world's oldest blogger, Australian Olive Riley
has died at the age of 108. In mourning her death, Mohammed Al Shehri, from Saudi Arabia, wonders what the legacy Riley would have left behind been like, had the Internet and blogging been available all along.

He writes [Ar]:

اليوم تناقلت وكالات الأنباء خبر وفاة الزميلة الاسترالية Olive Riley
أكبر مدونة في العالم عن عمر يناهز 108 سنوات ( توفيت السبت الماضي ) عاصرت فيها أحداث قرن مضى بكل حروبه الأولى والثانية وثورته وصناعته ومدنيته وهمجيته ، وديكتاتوريه وضحاياه وافراحه وأحزانه ، أرشيف كامل من الذكريات قد تعجز عن حمله مدونة ! ولكنه التدوين وشغفه عندما يطل بعد كل هذا العمر .
تخيلوا معي لو أن التدوين بشكله الحالي موجوداً منذ زمن بعيد وأن أوليف دونت طوال تلك السنوات كل ما مر بها في حياتها من قصص وأحداث ومشاعر منذ شبابها وحتى وفاتها ، يا ترى كيف ستكون خانة الأرشيف !
بالتأكيد سيكون الأمر أكثر إثارة ونحن نقرأ يوميات هذه المرأة عندما بدأت الحرب العالمية الثانية وكيف كانت مشاعرها في ذلك الوقت وما الذي كانت تقوله الصحافة ورأيها بما يحدث أو نقرأ مثلاً تدوينة عن حبها الأول وكيف كان أو عن رأيها عندما شاهدت أول تلفزيون يتم إختراعه وعمرها لم يتجاوز 22 سنه ! …
المدونون هم من يكتبون التاريخ الحاضر لقراء المستقبل ! و اوليف بتديوناتها كادت أن تكون شاهدة على عصرها لو أن التدوين وجد منذ زمن .
كم هم محظوظون قراء المستقبل .. أنا أحسدهم .
لكن يا ترى ما الذي جعل أوليف تفكر بالتدوين بعد كل هذا العمر !؟

Our Australian colleague Olive Riley, the world's oldest blogger, had died at the age of 108. She had lived through the first and second world wars, their revolutions and industries, their civility and destruction, their dictators and victims, and their happiness and sadness. She carried with her an archive of memories, more than a blog could hold. And then she discovered blogging and its thrill, especially at her age!

Imagine with me, if blogging as the way it is today, had been available in the past and that Olive had continued to blog all those years, writing all her life experiences, feelings and incidents, from her youth until her death. How will her blog archive look like?

I am sure we would have been excited reading her diary when the Second World War started, her feelings, her reactions to what the newspapers wrote and her ideas about what was happening. It would have been enchanting to read a post about her first love; or what her feelings were when she saw the first television which was invented when she was 22 years old!

Bloggers are writing today's history for tomorrow's readers! And Olive in her blogging could have been the first witness to that era, had blogging been available then. How lucky are the readers of the future! I envy them! I wonder what made Olive start blogging after that advanced age?!


  • […] (Translation courtesy of Global Voices.) […]

  • As Olive Riley’s scribe, I’m delighted in this interest in her amazing life from your country so far away. (being in NSW, Australia)

    Olive was indeed irresistable and fascinating as a story teller. I follow your thought. I wish he’d kept a diary all her life for then we would ahve had even more material.

    It would have been a feast I know, having spent may hundreds of hours with her, recording her, filming her, and just hanging out.

    There is a big hole in my life now.

    You know, I thought she’d make 110.

    When we were shooting her movie, (All about Olive) in Broken Hill in 2004, I saw one day, some newly planed olive trees.

    I asked the guy watering them when they’d bear fruit and he guessed in 2010.

    “Ollie,” I cried, we gotta come back for that, those first olive’s should be tasted by you!”

    Alas it was not to be. Sadly too the interest she’d begun to take in the huge wind farm to be built near her beloved Broken Hill, wont come to anything either.

    I thought it was the ultimately amazing thing that here, she was, 108, and she’s worried about global warming and whether wind can be part of the solution.

    “You’ve got have her on the payroll,” I told the folks at Epuron, the company building the wind farm, and I think they were almost convinced I was right.

    Mike her helper

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