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Arab Bloggers Workshop: Twitter Reflections on Day One

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritania, Syria, U.S.A., Freedom of Speech, Governance, Human Rights, Technology

As the first day of the Second Annual Arab Bloggers Workshop [1] comes to a close, we'll take a look at participants’ reflections from the whole day, to find out what they learned and how they're feeling.

The day started off with a bang, as Global Voices organizers Sami Ben Gharbia [2], Amira Al Hussaini [3], and our sponsors from The Heinrich Böll Foundation [4] welcomed participants from across the Arab world and beyond. Following the introductions, presenters Noha Atef [5] of Global Voices Advocacy and Eman Abdulrahman [6] of Global Voices (and founder of Kolena Laila [7]) shared their tips and thoughts on creating effective campaigns online. Mauritanian attendee weddady noted that Kolena Laila is looking to build partnerships across the Arab world in this tweet:

You can find more information at kolenalaila.com

You can find more information at kolenalaila.com

Throughout the day, there were several specialized workshops, on everything from circumvention and anonymity (presented by Jacob Applebaum [8]) to citizen journalism (presented by Amira Al Hussaini [3] and Salam Pax [9]) to video-hosting alternatives to YouTube (presented by Slim Amamou [10] and Marcin Gajewski). Of the latter, Lina Ben Mhenni commented:

Some alternatives to YouTube

Some alternatives to YouTube

The presentation that got participants most riled up, however, was one given by Syrian attendee Razan Ghazzawi [11] on the Berkman Center for Internet & Society's study mapping the Arabic blogosphere [12]. Though there were too many reactions to share (which can be found by searching the hashtag #ab09 on Twitter), here are some highlights: Egyptian participant lastoadri [6] wondered [13] on Twitter if participants were fully informed about the study:

Screen shot 2009-12-08 at 6.16.14 PM

lastoadri wonders aloud

Nasser Weddady [14] noted [15] an important point made by Razan:

weddady quotes Razan Ghazzawi

weddady quotes Razan Ghazzawi

Finally, Iraqi Salam Pax [9] agreed with Razan on the issue, stating [16]:

Salam Pax agrees with the presenter

Salam Pax agrees with the presenter