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Global Voices Podcast: 3rd Arab Bloggers Meeting – Part 2

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, North America, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, U.S.A., Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Ideas, Protest, Technology, Global Voices Podcast

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Hello world!

In an addition to our usual monthly podcast, we have some special audio for you from the newly concluded 3rd Arab Bloggers Meeting [3] in Tunisia.

Nearly 100 bloggers from Arab countries gathered in Tunis from October 3-6, 2011 in a meeting hosted by Global Voices, Nawaat [4] and the Heinrich Böll Foundation [5] to discuss citizen media, safety online, post-revolutionary ideas, and of course to meet each other face to face – some for the first time. In the 12 interviews in these two podcasts (check out Part 1 [6]) you will hear about online anonymity using Tor [7], revolution in a historical context, forthcoming elections in Arab countries, filmmaking, blogging and hope. And much, much more.

Arab Bloggers Meeting, 2011: Part 2

Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and many other countries have citizens living through a time of change and upheaval. Our online information these days is fast and furious when it comes to the minute by minute events, but how should we find context in a time of revolution?

Zeynep Tufekci [8] is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society [9]at Harvard. She presented a wonderful talk at the conference about the importance of putting revolutions into a historical context.

Part of telling the story of revolutionary times in a digital age requires video. Clips on YouTube offer powerful snapshots, but it is also important to follow a narrative to gain a greater understanding. Alexandra Sandels [10] is a Swedish journalist and co-director and producer of a documentary called Zero Silence [11] about young people using the Internet for change. It was screened on the first day of the Arab Bloggers Meeting.

Bloggers from nearly all Arab countries attended the meeting to learn from one another about citizen media and activism. Hayder Hamzoz [12] is a blogger from Baghdad, Iraq [13]. We chatted about his activities online and how the website Iraqi Streets [14] shows an alternative Iraq to the one shown in mainstream news headlines.

The dangers of being identified and apprehended for protest and online activity are numerous and in some cases horrifying. There are methods for staying safer that people can enact, and there is also software that can help. Roger Dingledine [15] works on an anonymity or privacy or circumvention tool called Tor [7]. We talked about how it works.

That's all we have for the special edition of the Global Voices podcast at the 3rd Arab Bloggers Meeting!

Group photo from Arab Bloggers Meeting, Tunis 2011 [16]

Group photo, Arab Bloggers Meeting, Tunis 2011 by Ibtihel Zaatouri (CC-BY)

Thanks to everyone who took time to talk to me, to the organisers for creating such a fantastic forum, and to Mark Cotton [17] who adapted our Global Voices theme tunes for this particular episode.

Global Voices Podcast Homepage [1]Subscribe in iTunes [2]