Wednesday, April 13, 2005


The increasing number of blogs emerging from Iraq is allowing us to get a better view at what's happening in different cities, small towns and even villages. Everyday there are more people starting new blogs either in Arabic or in English.
More people here are learning more about the simplicity of blogs, their capabilities and potentials in connecting people and overriding the barriers of distance.

I have always liked the horizontal conversation that blogs allow; no filters or chief editors omitting whole chunks from your article and you don't have to please anyone with your writing. It's simply a person to person conversation as you all know.

Plus, comments coming from readers can in many cases enrich the discussion and at the end both the author and the reader get more benefit.
We can fairly say that we're witnessing the birth of an Iraqi blogosphere. Despite the short time and the difficult circumstances we feel satisfied with the increasing number of men, women, students and civil society organizations who are discovering the world of blogging and free publishing.

Frankly speaking, I enjoy reading the blogs much more than I do reading the classical journals. My countrymen and women are sending an accurate and more realistic image of the events and state of the public opinion in their cities and neighborhoods and I find myself learning more details about my country through those people.

This is Al-Dhafir for example, writing his diaries and talks about his daily tours in the markets of his town and following the progress of rebuilding the local school with a lot of excitement.
While this one is providing his readers with access to places that are hard to reach for most reporters.

And this is the electricity department in Najaf which decided to start an Arabic blog to introduce the citizens of Najaf to the department's activities and the hardships it encounters while attempting to restore full power supply for the city.
While this blog is telling us about the Assyrian population celebrating the New Year.

Here we find the sons of Kirkuk talking about the city of brotherhood and expressing their wishes in seeing the day when the Iraqi citizenship beats ethnicity or sectarian differences and this is the Cultural Parliament through a sarcastic series titled "the visions of hijiya Nova Namos" suggesting cures for the social diseases Iraq is suffering from, they believe that we're still carrying a heavy heritage from the dark age of the Ba'ath.

This is an agricultural engineer using his blog to talk about problems facing agriculture in his area and he's urging his colleagues to start their own blogs to create a network that provides solutions for agricultural problems (who would think that blogs can fight termites!!).

Here's an organization that cares for the marshes and the authors talk in their blog about the suffering of the people of the marshes under the past regime and how the average cattle count (buffalos) decreased from 25 to 7 in average for the regular cattle as well as the decrease in the fish count in the marshes. This blog also submits a number of informative researches that I don't think would be found elsewhere.

Here's a photographer who found in bloggoing an opportunity to show his products to the world and he seems passionate of this particular old photo of his city.
Here you can find an organization specialized in human rights issues and showing its activities on a blog.
While here is the now locally famous blog "Maysan: the gem of Iraq" which is a blog from Amara that portraits the finest details of life in that city including the situation of internet in this poor Iraqi province.

I can't state all what I've seen on those blogs here but I still would love to share this thing with you. I found it on one of the best blogs currently publishing in Arabic. Without this blog I would have never known about this case. The post I'm talking about reflects a growing awareness and leads to the conclusion that nothing; I mean nothing can be hidden from the people here.

Here's what this blog reported about from that forgotten old, small town:
The post started with an introduction about the history of women and the historic women rallies back in 1911 in Britain then moved to Iraq and said:

We right here, entering the 21st century still reject the idea that women can and must share in the process of decision making and we simply shrug when women find solution to problems that we failed at handling and this is why we believe that women rights and issues are among the most critical ones that we have to address. The TAL assigned a 25% share for women in the National Assembly and the local municipal boards and this is considered a unique initiative but unfortunately this great initiative was exploited to serve partisan interests through nominating almost anonymous women who are not known to anyone.
One of the signs I read in a small suburb near my town congratulates one of the elected members of the National Assembly for winning the seat. The words on the sign go like this:
"We send our warmest congratulations to………'s wife at the occasion of being a National Assembly member"!!!!
Now can anyone tell me who's going to occupy that seat? The wife or her husband?!!!

Everyday I discover new interesting uses and advantages of blogging; this is not only about news or information but more important than all is that blogging has proven to be a bridge that connects people and strengthens the interaction among different cultures and communities.
If the internet in general made this world a small village, then blogging has succeded in making it a big family.


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